Semangat Lokal untuk Wisata Lokal

Thoughts

Akhir pekan lalu seorang teman menyesali keputusan saya yang tidak menolak jadi narasumber sebuah konferensi pers yang diselenggarakan PT TVI Express. “Kamu sudah insyaf dan pengen jadi agen MLM lagi?” tanyanya sengit.

Saya bukan penggemar bisnis MLM. Bukannya tanpa pengalaman. Bahkan, dua kali saya jadi agen MLM asal Amerika dan Swedia, sebut saja Am**y dan Ori**ame karena produknya memang berguna. Makin hari, konsep bisnis ini makin nggak masuk logika hingga saya putuskan berhenti. Tapi, karena cocok dengan konsepnya, saya masih pakai produk kedua merek tadi hingga hari ini.

Konferensi Pers PT TVI Express
Dengan alasan yang sama saya menerima ketika didapuk jadi narasumber dalam konferensi pers yang digelar untuk merespon sas-sus di dunia maya tentang status hukum PT TVI Express (bukan TVIExpress.com) yang diragukan bahkan dikhawatirkan banyak orang.

PT TVI Express membeli license usaha biro perjalanan dari TVIExpress.com yang berpusat di Inggris. Layaknya agen perjalanan, perusahaan ini menjual voucher hotel, tiket dan paket perjalanan ke anggotanya. Sayangnya, Ibu Goenarni Goenawan, Presiden dan Pendiri PT TVI Express, mengeluhkan minimnya pemahaman pehobi dan praktisi wisata tentang visi PT TVI Express.

“Saya membangun PT TVI Express dengan idealisme: Indonesia untuk orang Indonesia,” ujarnya menggebu-gebu. “Anggota TVI Express dari Indonesia sangat banyak. Sebelum PT TVI Express didirikan, mereka mengirimkan uangnya ke luar negeri. Saya ingin menahan devisa agar tidak keluar Indonesia.”

Alasan yang masuk akal bahkan satu visi dengan konsep Sustainable Tourism yang saya dan teman-teman dengungkan di komunitas Sahabat Wisata.

Dengan alasan yang sama, dalam waktu dekat perusahaan ini akan meresmikan Pacific Royale, sebuah airline domestik yang melayani kota-kota sekunder (ibukota kabupaten) terutama yang punya potensi wisata. Ibu Goenarni sangat bangga karena dia hanya mengijinkan pilot-pilot Indonesia menerbangkan lima pesawat Fokker50-nya kelak. “Jadi, kalau mau nonton Jember Fashion Carnival nggak usah cape-cape naik mobil, bisa naik Pacific Royale,” ia berpromosi.

Di acara ini juga, saya berkenalan dengan Bapak Dave Mamangkey, seorang konsultan hospitality yang juga pemilik jaringan hotel lokal, Maven. Dalam presentasinya, ia mengungkapkan kalau 80% tamu hotel di Indonesia adalah pengunjung domestik. Pasar domestik yang sangat besar ini mestinya memacu pengusaha-pengusaha lokal untuk melirik bisnis jaringan hotel.

“Di Indonesia, pasar (domestik) bisa dibangun. Makanya kami berencana bangun dua hotel dan resort di Pulau Buru, Maluku,” ujar Bapak Dave. Ingatan saya langsung terbawa ke hamparan pasir putih Pantai Jikumerasa tak jauh dari Namlea, ibukota Kabupaten Buru ini.

Kabar baiknya, Maven bukan satu-satunya jaringan hotel lokal yang membangun akomodasi di titik-titik wisata di penjuru Indonesia. Ini tentunya di luar hotel dan penginapan yang berdiri dan dikelola mandiri.

Selesai konferensi pers, sebuah pertanyaan tersirat di kepala, “Kira-kira pemilik jaringan hotel lokal itu orang Indonesia bukan ya? Mungkin kah pemilik hotel di Biak adalah orang Biak?”

Saya tak berani melempar kedua pertanyaan tadi apalagi saya tahu persis jawaban pertanyaan kedua. Terlepas kedua pertanyaan “bawel” itu, saya tetap acungkan jempol untuk orang seperti Ibu Goenarni Goenawan dan Bapak Dave Mamangkey. Tapi, saya akan acungkan dua jempol dan angkat topi untuk pengusaha lokal yang mampu mendirikan jaringan akomodasi dan mengelolanya dengan profesional serta mempekerjakan penduduk setempat. Seperti yang pernah saya berikan kepada Bapak John pemilik Hotel Rima di Ruteng, Manggarai, Nusa Tenggara Timur.

Jadi, sudahkah semangat lokal kita terwujud dengan memilih menginap di hotel lokal ketika jalan-jalan?


English Version


Last weekend, a friend regretted my decision not to refuse invitation to be one of speakers at a press conference held by PT TVI Express. “Are you sure you want to run an MLM business again?” he asked bitterly.

I’m not a fan of MLM business. I’m not inexperienced. In fact, I was once an agent of American and Sweden MLM brand, let’s just call it Am**y and Ori**ame, because I found their products were useful. Later on, I found this concept of business was more and more illogical so I decided to quit. But, I still use both brands’ products until today; because they’re useful and I like the product’s concept.

Press Conference PT TVI Express
For the same reason, I nodded to the invitation. The press conference was supposed to respond to a cyber rumor about the allegedly illegal status of PT TVI Express (not TVIExpress.com).

PT TVI Express was the official Indonesian license holder of TVIExpress.com, a web-based travel agency based in the UK. Like other travel agents, the company sold hotel vouchers, airline tickets and travel packages to its members. Unfortunately, Ms. Goenarni Goenawan, President and Founder of PT TVI Express, felt sorry about lack of understanding amongst public to PT TVI Express vision on Indonesian tourism development.

“I established PT TVI Express with an idealism: Indonesia for Indonesians,” she said passionately. “Members of TVI Express from Indonesia is significant. Before PT TVI Express was founded, they purchased our products directly to TVI Express in the UK. I want to keep their money as much as possible for Indonesia.”

A reason that made sense. In fact, it was matched to the concept of Sustainable Tourism vision that my friends and I promoted in Sahabat Wisata community.

With the same reason, in the near future the company would launchh Pacific Royale, a domestic airline serving secondary cities (district capital) with tourism potential. Goenarni was very proud because she recuited only Indonesian pilots to fly her five Fokker50. “So, if you want to watch Jember Fashion Carnival and can not bear the ground travel, take Pacific Royale,” she promoted.

In this event, I also met Mr. Dave Mamangkey, a hospitality consultant who also owned a network of local hotels, Maven. In his presentation, he revealed that 80% of hotel guests in Indonesia were domestic travelers. This huge domestic market was supposed to spur local entrepreneurs to develop business hotel chains.

“In Indonesia, (domestic) market can be developed. That is why we plan to build two hotels and resorts on the Buru Island, Maluku,” said Mr Dave. My memory immediately flew to Jikumerasa, a long stretch of white sand beach not far from Namlea, the capital of Buru.

The good news, Maven was not the only local hotel to build a chain of accommodation in tourist spots across Indonesia.

After the press conference, a question popped in my head, “Were these hotel chain owners Indonesian? Who would know hotel owners in Biak are … local Biak? ”

I didn’t have guts to ask those questions; especially I knew exactly the answer to the second question. Despite those annoying questions, I still held up my thumb for people like Ms Goenarni Goenawan and Mr Dave Mamangkey. But, I’ll raise all of my two thumbs and raise my hat for local entrepreneurs who establish and manage chains of accommodation professionally and employ local residents. I did that to Mr John, owner of Hotel Rima in Ruteng, Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara.

So, have we expressed our nationalism by choosing to stay at a local hotel when traveling?

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