The Jakarta Post
Foreign tourists visiting Nusa Penida islets are willing to pay admission that would go toward an environmental program, a survey revealed.
A survey conducted by the Coral Triangle Center (CTC) in 2011 revealed that 83 percent of tourists are willing to pay an entrance fee of up to US$4.30 per visit or up to $9.50 per year. The survey involved 300 foreign tourists who visited Nusa Penida in September 2011.
'From the survey, we found that most tourists are willing to pay to support environmental conservation in Nusa Penida. They are really eager to help maintain the area,' Marthen Welly, the CTC's learning sites manager, told The Jakarta Post recently.
'Through the survey, we wanted to find out whether tourists would be willing to pay admission and how much, as it is really important for the conservation program and for building infrastructure,' Marthen said.
The Nusa Penida Conservation area comprises the Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan waters in Klungkung regency. The development of the conservation area was started in 2008 by the local community and Nature Conservancy and has been continued by the CTC.
The survey revealed that 95 percent of tourist visiting Nusa Penida waters felt that a conservation program was needed in Nusa Penida. However, only 83 percent stated a willingness to pay an entrance fee.
Nusa Penida's waters are a popular spot for divers from all over the world, with manta rays and Mola mola sunfish being the main attractions. It has attracted thousands of foreign tourists to dive and enjoy the marine life.
Based on the survey, 50 percent of tourists are European, while 31 percent are Australian. Others come from a variety of countries, including other areas of Indonesia.
Most tourists visit Nusa Penida to snorkel and scuba dive. Another reason is to enjoy the beach and sun, and to experience the lifestyle of local people and the local culture. Most visit Nusa Penida for one to three days.
The Klungkung administration enacted a bylaw on entrance fees to Nusa Penida in 2011, namely Rp 7,000 for adults (60 cents) and Rp 4,000 for children. However, the entrance fees have yet to be implemented. 'We will review the entrance fee as it is too low and does not reflect what tourists are willing to pay,' Klungkung Regent Nyoman Suwirta said.
He added that the Klungkung administration was eager to develop sustainable tourism in Nusa Penida. He said the administration would work seriously on preserving the area.
'We are committed to developing Nusa Penida through an environmental friendly program, to create sustainability,' he said.
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