Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eco-Tourism in Minahasa, North Sulawesi

by http://charlesroring.blogspot.com



Minahasa is one of the most important tourist destinations in Indonesia. It is a regency that is located in the province of North Sulawesi. There are various tourists attractions such as world class sea park in Bunaken Manado Tua, furniture and traditional wooden house industry in Woloan, prayer hills in Kanonang and Bukit Kasih. Majority of the people in Minahasa are farmers. They grow vegetables, rice, coconut and vannila. Minahasa has many beautiful sceneries which attrative to tourists.


Domestic tourists like to visit villages and towns of Minahasa whereas foreign tourists like to dive in Bunaken sea park. When Indonesia was facing economic crisis, the Minahasan local government tried to boost the local economy through the development of eco-tourism. Package tours and exhibitions are promoted in every event that is related to tourism. Eco-tourism is expected to help farmers sell their agricultural produce. Business owners have anticipated the rising number of tourists coming into Minahasa. Resorts and restaurants are being built in the coastal area and highlands.


A long the way from coastal region to highland region, we can see many restaurants selling sea food, and other local delicacies. The price of food is very cheap. In Kasuang and Tinoor areas, one can eat as much as he/she can only for Rp. 15,000 (equals to 1.61 US dollars). For the same amount of food in Jakarta, one must pay up to Rp. 150,000 (equals to 16,1 US dollars). Everytime a person visits one of the restaurants, he or she has helped local farmers. All the food materials used by the restaurants are bought from local market.


The pre-fabricated wooden houses industry in Wolowan villages are not only sold for local market but also for international market. Sometimes when a tourist is interested in buying a house, he can order it on site or through a special website. The house will be desmantled and shipped in a container. The manufacturer can also help the reconstruction of the wooden house by sending his engineers to the location where a customer want it to be built.


In Sonder sub-regency, one can see farmers work in clove plantation, make palm sugar in Rambunan. Floating restaurants in Sonder offer the best taste of fresh water fish. Sonder also has various kinds of beautiful flowers. Waterfalls and flower market in Tincep have been known nationwide. Domestic tourists like to buy flowers in the region.