The Jakarta Post
A picturesque white-sand beach with turquoise water at Komodo National Park. (Shutterstock/-)
A new travel agency that focuses on voluntourism has been officially introduced in Jakarta on Thursday.
Dubbed Travel Sparks, the service invites both domestic and foreign tourists to explore and experience authentic local living while volunteering at Taman Bacaan Pelangi (Rainbow Reading Gardens), a non-profit organization that aims to establish libraries for children living in Eastern Indonesia's remote areas. Established in 2009 in the island of Flores, it currently has 37 children's libraries across 14 islands including Maluku, North Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and Papua.
All the profits made by Travel Sparks will go to the organization and travelers can also donate children's books and deliver them directly to the libraries.
Founded by Nila Tanzil in 2014, the service has already hosted some travelers, especially those coming from Europe, who joined activities at Taman Bacaan Pelangi, which include storytelling and workshops.
“We want tourists who travel within Indonesia to be able to leave a positive impact to the host communities they visit. The tour guides, drivers, boat captains, everyone involved in the trips are all locals as we also aim to create more jobs, better the livelihood of locals and increase economic growth,” said Nila Tanzil in a press release.
Travel Sparks offers several customized packages including boat trips to Komodo National Park and its surroundings, trekking the Wae Rebo village, exploring Flores for a minimum of 9 days and scuba diving at Komodo National Park. The price of each trip will depend on the itinerary and reservations can be made on the service's official website.
As part of East Nusa Tenggara province, Flores is known for its diversity in its local community, culture and natural resources. Among its renowned tourism destinations are Komodo National Park, Kelimutu National Park and the traditional villages of Wae Rebo, Bena and Bajawa. (kes)