Sustainable Food Tourism in Labuan Bajo

Any human activity has a specific impact on Earth. We tend to use more than the earth can provide. As one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world, tourism has a tremendous influence on natural resources, consumer habits, pollution, and socio-economic systems especially in Indonesia. With a total of 4 million visitors in 2020, Indonesia will be the 44th most visited country in the world. Tourism alone brought approximately $3.53 billion in revenue for Indonesia. This equates to 0.33 % of the country’s GDP and nearly 12 % of Southeast Asia’s total foreign tourist earnings (World Data, 2020).  Indonesia’s tourism sector has been struck hard by the outbreak of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) and the cancellation of long-term travel plans to popular places, including Komodo National Park in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara. 45,000 visitors have canceled their trips between January and May, according to Agustinus Bataona of the Indonesia Tour Guide Association (HPI) in East Nusa Tenggara. Because Labuan Bajo is a popular tourist destination for both local and international visitors, the region was chosen as a national priority destination. Due to the existence of the Komodo National Park near Labuan Bajo, the city serves as a gateway to eastern Indonesian tourism (Makur, 2020).

Every region in Indonesia has its own unique food and this dish is a picture of that area. Labuan Bajo is one of them. When visiting Labuan Bajo, we can find some unique and certainly delicious foods to eat and wine to drink. In Labuan Bajo, There is a traditional wine called sopi which is derived from dutch word zoopje. Generally, sopi is crafted from water infiltration from palm trees (Arenga pinnata). In a few areas, along with in Aimere and Bajawa, sopi also are crafted from palm tree water. To get high-satisfactory water absorption from the palm tree, sopi is generally produced withinside the dry season. Because if it’s far accomplished withinside the wet season, generally the tree water will blend with rainwater. People nevertheless use bamboo to house the tree`s water absorption. The palm tree water is then cooked combined with diverse roots, in order that it does now no longer right away settle and change into palm sugar. The cooking water vapor is accommodated in a bamboo funnel which slowly, drops with the aid of using drop, flows into the bottle container. Distillation can absorb for 3 days, relying on the quantity of palm tree water obtained (Mali, 2013).

Ecologically, lontar distillation into sopi is the end of the chain of processing and utilization of lontar. The longer the processing and utilization of lontar, the higher and more strategic the value of the palm tree to care for and maintain. At the same time, the maintenance of this plant will be a joint action and guarantee the sustainability of the lontar is maintained. Moreover, palm trees are long-lived plants that can reach 60 years of age with a long productive life, which is not less than 40 years (Arif, 2020).

Beautiful environment, wildlife, and culture that can all be found in Indonesia. As an archipelagic country with the third-longest coastline in the world, Indonesia has the richest reef area in the world and the diversity of marine life in it. Indonesia also has more than 400 volcanoes, national parks that are included in world heritage sites (UNESCO), as well as a diversity of flora and fauna. But over time, many of these tourist attractions are now damaged and lost their exoticism, so that visitors are getting less and less, as well as the revenue earned by tourism managers and the state. This is indeed often the case in many tourist attractions in Indonesia (World Resources Institute, 2020).

Therefore, to prevent further damage, mindful society should shift the trend towards environmentally friendly sustainable tourism development. Sustainability involves complex and diverse environmental issues and problems which impact on human livelihood and welfare with a global and local aligned ecological, economic and socio-policy dimension (Steg & Vlek, 2007). Moreover, as we all know, we live in a consumerist society. However, few people realize the full magnitude of the issues or impact they have on each one of us (Wals, 2009). Sustainability is a balance between short and long-term approaches, not just sacrifices but how to achieve improved quality of life by using the lowest amount of resources. It is actively trying to make things better (Curren & Metzger, 2017). 

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