As mentioned above, most of the scuba divers are served by only small number of dive operators. Will the money the tourists pay influences the economy of the people in Minahasa? The intention of the development of eco-tourism is to support to the preservation of the environment, and to help the economy of people in the region. According to my observation, there are improvements in the villagers’ life especially among those who work directly in diving industry. But more improvements can be achieved if more tour packages aiming at empowering the local people are introduced. These packages include Minahasa highland tour where tourists can visit handicraft shops, bird watching, palm sugar industry, flower market in Tincep and white water rafting in Timubr, local snack kiosks, traditional restaurants and furniture and wooden house industries. Folk dances and music performance can be combined with gourmet tourism in the Minahasan highland.
If more options are available, tourists who haven’t experienced these packages may choose them after finishing their dive in Bunaken. Local government of Minahasa and North Sulawesi should support the program by providing tax incentive or building the necessary infrastructure for that purpose. It is hoped that with more people oriented tour package, the economy of the local people can significantly be improved in the near future.