The private sector and Gunung Rinjani National Park : an examination of tourism's contribution to development : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Tourism, as a tool of community development, has been utilised in Indonesia since the early development of protected areas. On the island of Lombok, Gunung Rinjani National Park (GRNP), the private sector businesses in major are involved in trekking, which is the only tourism product developed inside the park. However, the benefits arising from tourism in GRNP have not reached many of the poor living in the surrounding areas of the park, and tourism contributions to conservation of the natural resources have not been maximised. This thesis seeks to find out more about private sector roles and involvement in development, through research on trekking businesses operating in GRNP. Thus, the main research question explored in this thesis is: How can Lombok trekking organisers deliver more benefits to the conservation of Gunung Rinjani National Park (GRNP) and local community development? This research showed that tourism business players are currently ignoring social values when making business decisions about operations in GRNP. In addition, the government is reluctant to associate poverty alleviation with tourism. Businesses and government alike are mainly focussed on increasing tourism flows to Lombok. This research also highlighted that the concept of using tourism for poverty elimination is still a 'foreign' idea to those involved in the development of GRNP tourism sector. If tourism is to contribute more to development, then the willingness of the local economic players to enable tourism linkages is crucial. Lombok tourism planners would be well advised to concentrate on strengthening tourism's multiplier effects, by building direct and indirect links with various development sectors. These efforts, of course, require an enabling environment of supporting government policies, so that harmonious economical, social and environmental benefits could be delivered.