How the close-knit community of this Indonesian village unites to promote tourism

John Marwin Elao - Philstar.com
How the close-knit community of this Indonesian village unites to promote tourism
The collage shows different activities that tourists can enjoy in Nglanggeran, Indonesia.
Photos from Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia – A village in Indonesia is setting a new standard for community-based tourism, prioritizing the preservation of cultural heritage and safeguarding biodiversity while concurrently creating opportunities for the local population.

Situated in the hills of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, approximately 2,750 kilometers away from Manila, Nglanggeran captivates visitors with its breathtaking natural landscape and the distinctiveness of Gunung Api Purba, its ancient volcano.

Villages like Nglanggeran stand out for their unwavering dedication to tourism practices that prioritize the preservation of cultural heritage, sustainability, the creation of local opportunities and the protection of biodiversity.

In a notable recognition of its sustainable eco-tourism initiatives, Nglanggeran earned acknowledgment from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2021, being distinguished among the Best Tourism Villages.

What can tourists expect in Nglanggeran?


Tourists visiting Nglanggeran can immerse themselves in the tranquility of the area by participating in various activities that offer a deep connection with local traditions and customs. Some of these experiences include:

  • Engaging in "janur" coconut leaf art.
  • Participating in an interactive session featuring the traditional "karawitan" musical art performed by local artists.
  • Indulging in a traditional dinner called "Kendurian."
  • Trying on Javanese traditional attire with the assistance of the locals.
  • Trekking to the geopark site of Gunung Api Purba, guided by the locals.
  • Visiting a cacao plantation and interviewing dedicated cacao farmers to learn about cacao farming.
  • Exploring Griya Coklat to witness the intricate process of making cacao powder and traditional snacks.
  • Indulging in the Chocolate Spa, a tranquil haven offering unique chocolate-infused treatments, including a rejuvenating foot spa.

Community-based ecotourism

The community of Nglanggeran plays a vital role in the tourism industry in their locality. Each member of this close-knit community has a distinct role that contributes to the thriving local tourism industry.

In discussions with the members of the press, village officials highlighted the community's success in conducting tourism in Nglanggeran, attributing it to regulations in place to protect the environment while promoting tourism.

Tourists interested in visiting the village and experiencing its many activities can stay at over 80 homestays in the area. These homestays, managed by residents, provide an opportunity to feel the hospitality of the community.

To ensure the continued success of the tourism industry in Nglanggeran, local officials have implemented a strategic plan, akin to a comprehensive report, recording statistics and outlining plans.

The youth, women and men of Nglanggeran all play vital roles, each with unique tasks, contributing collectively to the prosperity of the tourism industry in the village.

What can Philippine ecotourism villages learn?

The Philippines and Indonesia, both situated in Southeast Asia and within the Pacific Ring of Fire, share similarities yet exhibit distinct differences. There are valuable insights that Philippine eco-tourism villages can glean from Nglanggeran.

In Nglanggeran, the involvement of residents in all aspects of tourism planning has proven to be a successful strategy. This approach, if adopted in the Philippines, could contribute to the success of ecotourism initiatives by harnessing the insights and involvement of the locals. As the primary stakeholders, the residents are most directly affected by the impact of tourism, be it a boon or a bane.

Embracing a holistic whole-of-the-village strategy in tourism, as practiced in Nglanggeran, presents a model that can be replicated in the ecotourism villages of the Philippines. By fostering a collaborative approach that engages the entire community, Philippine villages may find success in sustaining and promoting responsible tourism practices.


Editor's note: The tour to Nglanggeran was hosted by United Nations World Tourism Organization. At no stage does the host government has a say on the stories generated from the coverage, interviews conducted, publication date and story treatment. Content is produced solely by Philstar.com following editorial guidelines.

vuukle comment





  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with