A recent Trip Advisor survey cited by the International Ecotourism Club found that 79 percent of travellers feel it's important that "accommodation providers have eco-friendly practices."
To protect the natural beauty and surrounding countryside while boosting tourism, policies have been put in place to support Indonesia's commitment to sustainable tourism development. The country is now showing the way forward with a few noteworthy eco-friendly resorts.
Some early developers of eco resorts in Indonesia had protection of the environment foremost in their minds when they designed their resorts. Integrating sustainable practices with bottom lines, these resorts put in place various green initiatives without sacrificing the comforts travellers expect to find at resorts today.
The original idea for the development of the present Misool Eco Resort ( image) was to turn it into a non-profit conservation area. However, due to the inability to attract the necessary funding, developers Marit Miners turned the private island into an eco-friendly resort and still continues its planned conservation efforts today.
All the timber used in the construction of the resort comes from fallen trees found on the island. Waste is recycled and used as fertiliser, saving scarce natural resources.
The Miners' lease includes a 1220 square kilometre area of surrounding reefs, which they have declared a "no-take" fishing zone. They have hired local rangers and provided them with boats to ensure the waters are fishing-free. Although it is marketed as a dive resort, the property is also highly regarded as a honeymoon destination.
Puri Dajuma Cottages and Spa Resort
Although Puri Dajuma offers guests every luxury, the resort owners are committed to environmental conservation. All water used at the resort is treated and repurposed. Soaps, shampoos and massage oils are all biodegradable and no chemicals are used in the gardens. Energy-saving LED lights are used throughout the resort and all plastic and cardboard are recycled..
The local community is not forgotten, either. Puri Dajuma gives back to its surrounding community by hiring 90 per cent of its staff locally, 100 per cent of whom are involved in management. Aside from training and hiring local villagers, Puri Dajuma also supports social development organisations such as the Bali Children Foundation. The resort rates highly on Green Pearls, a global green hotels rating site.
Sumber Sari Eco Villas
Sumber Sari Eco Villas, on the quiet north side of Bali, was the first resort on the island to use solar energy as its main power source, allowing guests to enjoy air conditioning, TV and internet without using energy generated by greenhouse-gas-emitting power supplies. They also treat all their waste in specially designed vegetated leach fields and have initiated a local coral reef regeneration program.
If these existing resorts are examples to go by, tourists and visitors can look forward to Indonesia spearheading ecotourism developments in future, successfully blending luxury with sustainability. Such eco resorts set new standards for the hospitality industry, not only in the country, but also across Southeast Asia.