Ecotourism potential of the proposed railway line in South Sulawesi
The new and first railway line in the province of South Sulawesi, Indonesia was initially proposed for freight and industrial mobilisation but its function can be further expanded to include public transport and boost various economic sectors, including ecotourism.
Running between Makassar and Parepare, this railway connects two cities (Makassar and Parepare) and three regencies (Maros, Barru and Pangkep) in the province which has a beautiful landscape, rich biodiversity and cultural heritage. The area is known for its geoparks, beaches and the variety of local cuisine. Once a functioning railway is in place it can attract more tourists and increase the number of visits.
Based on the idea that the new railway line will provide transportation for people to explore the west coast of South Sulawesi both as a stopover point for sea-based activities or to conduct activities inland, the study surveyed 36 existing ecotourism sites around the train stations to examine the existing tourism infrastructure. We also looked at the stakeholders, the tourists and the disability aspect to provide a holistic view of the issue.
The report presents key findings as a starting point for improving the tourism sector in South Sulawesi. These include:
- Tourist profile
- Transport preferences
- Available amenities at the sites
Click here to read the full report, ‘Ecotourism potential of the proposed railway line in South Sulawesi’
These findings and further research have led us to make the following policy recommendations.
- Enhance train services
- Improve connectivity
- Increase promotion of local accommodation
- Develop strategic promotion to attract domestic and international tourists
- Enhance amenities at ecotourism sites
- Improve community engagement
Ecotourism is about sustainable development, cultural exchange and environmental conservation. By addressing the challenges in connecting tourists to ecotourism sites, there is an opportunity to help local economies, preserve cultural and natural sites, and provide tourists with enriching experiences.