Sustainable tourism on Flores Geothermal Island, Indonesia

Sustainable tourism on Flores Geothermal Island, Indonesia Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia (source: flickr/ Gabriel ^(oo)^, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 8 Mar 2022

Geothermal is an elementary part of sustainable tourism on Flores Island, Indonesia and development aimed at improving lives of people on the island.

Tourism is an important element for Indonesia’s economy, and Flores Island is no exception. An island with natural wealth and high tourism potential, an Indonesian hidden treasure that needs to be honed. However, tourism development requires a large supply of electrical energy. Unfortunately, the current supply of electrical energy is still dominated by fossil energy which increases vulnerability to environmental impacts such as climate change and dependence on market price which makes it difficult for the industry to remain competitive.

The energy transition and sustainable tourism patterns are solutions for the Government to encourage economic growth for the Flores community. Especially in consideration that Flores has been declared by the President of Indonesia as a Geothermal Island with its huge potential from the West to the East. For example, one of the geothermal development points in Flores is Wae Sano, West Manggarai Regency. Together with the community and its beautiful nature, Geothermal can present a series of tourism that has educational and sustainable value.

President Director of PT Geo Dipa Energi (Persero) Riki Firmandha Ibrahim revealed that Geothermal development in Flores is believed to be able to strengthen the marketing strategy of sustainable tourism. “The presence of Geothermal actually becomes a special attraction to increase tourist arrivals also allowing the growth of tourism through new hotels being built around Lake Wae Sano”. “Geothermal sustainable educational tourism patterns like this have also been developed in countries such as Iceland, New Zealand, Philippines, USA, Japan and others, while in Indonesia such as in Kamojang, Lahendong, Dieng and others.” he added.

According to Riki, Geothermal development is also in line with the Regional Government’s plan which carries the concept of Religious Tourism in its area. “This is a continuity, tourists will get a complete package of Recreation, Ecology, and Religion,” he said.

The use of geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly energy source, where geothermal drilling is carried out at a depth of 1,500 – 2,500 meters far below surface water sources commonly used by the community. Geothermal resources require forests as water catchments and it is something that must be considered to be preserved, so that floods and landslides do not occur.

When compared to other renewable energy, geothermal power generation has the least use of land compared to other sources of energy. The energy can also be continuously streamed without being affected by weather and sun conditions. In terms of utilization, geothermal power plant can last tens or even more than a hundred years.

Geothermal is a way to open up new opportunities for the people of Flores.  Geothermal can help the Wae Sano community in improving the living space of the local community. One of them is through better access so that they can develop the opportunities they have by using the potential that exists in the village. For example, repairing the 23 km access road from Wae Lolos to Lempe will provide many benefits to the community in the Sano Nggoang District area because the improvement of the access road will also provide convenience for market access through transportation of agricultural products and tourism in Cunca Lolos, Cunca Rami, Mbeliling and Sano Nggoang lakes. The government is trying to build Geothermal power plant to improve people’s lives in Flores, especially Wae Sano.

Previously, the Head Distritc of West Manggarai, Edistasius Endi, revealed the development of the tourism concept to be developed in Wae Sano, “The community will be involved in managing and organizing in order to create tourism around the area, as well as the development of spiritual tourism,” said Edi when meeting with representatives of the Wae Sano community.

Edi saw that Geothermal actually did not interfere with people’s living spaces. According to him, all of them could live side by side and even support each other.

Source: Article shared by PT Geo Dipa Energi with ThinkGeoEnergy