In the village of Cikondang, located in the Cianjur Regency of West Java, Indonesia, the local community has united to promote tourism and preserve their culture and environment. The village, which is surrounded by lush green hills and rice fields, offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors, such as hiking, cycling, fishing, camping, and learning about the traditional way of life of the villagers.
The tourism initiative in Cikondang started in 2017, when the village head, Mr. Asep, decided to transform the village into a tourist destination, with the help of the local youth group, the Karang Taruna. They formed a tourism management team, which consists of various sub-teams, such as marketing, hospitality, security, and sanitation. They also established a cooperative, which manages the income and expenses of the tourism activities, and distributes the profits to the villagers.
One of the main challenges that the village faced was the lack of infrastructure and facilities, such as roads, electricity, water, and accommodation. To overcome this, the villagers worked together to improve and build the necessary infrastructure, using their own resources and skills. For example, they paved the roads, installed solar panels, dug wells, and built toilets and showers. They also renovated some of the villagers’ houses to serve as homestays for the tourists, and trained the hosts to provide quality service and hospitality.
Another challenge was the lack of awareness and promotion of the village as a tourist destination. To address this, the villagers used social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of the village, and to attract potential visitors. They also collaborated with other stakeholders, such as the local government, the media, and the travel agents, to gain more support and exposure for their tourism initiative.
The tourism development in Cikondang has brought many benefits to the village and the villagers. It has increased the income and livelihood of the villagers, who can earn money from providing various services and products to the tourists, such as accommodation, food, souvenirs, and transportation. It has also improved the quality of life and well-being of the villagers, who can enjoy better infrastructure and facilities, as well as more social and cultural activities. Moreover, it has enhanced the sense of pride and identity of the villagers, who can share and preserve their culture and traditions with the tourists, and also learn from them.
The tourism initiative in Cikondang is an example of how a close-knit community can unite to promote tourism and achieve sustainable development. It shows how the villagers can use their own resources and creativity to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities in the tourism sector. It also shows how the villagers can balance the economic, social, and environmental aspects of tourism, and ensure that the tourism activities are beneficial for both the tourists and the hosts.