- Personal Finance
How to make money by attracting tourists to your town through eco-tourism
Attracting tourists by writing promotional articles on the internet
In today's hub, I am going to tell you how I make money by promoting ecotourism in my town. I live in Manokwari, a small town that is now growing rapidly into a middle size city due to its new status as the capital of West Papua province. This is the eastern most island in the Republic of Indonesia. Manokwari is beautifully situated along the Dorey bay with three islands in the middle of the bay. At the sourthern part of the town, the Arfak mountain range stretches from East to West with Lake Kabori and Lake Anggresi at its foot. In the northern part of the city, the Table Mountain with tropical rainforest that covers it has been a favorite picnic destination for the town dwellers and nature lovers.
My beautiful hometown
Although Manokwari is beautiful, I can say one of the most beautiful towns in the world (I am not exaggregating it, really), very few people know about it. Only several thousand Dutch pioneers who had lived in this town during 1950s and 1960s that would agree with my claim. For scuba divers, Manokwari has been on their top list to visit due to its World War II shipwrecks that are scattered around the surrounding waters of Mansinam, Lemon and Raimuti islands.
I began writing about Manokwari several years ago and put my articles in geocities.com. I designed a special website using Microsoft Frontpage. It was in 2002. Last year, Yahoo closed all free account of Geocities including some of my websites. I could not retrieve most of them. After researching for free webhosting and writing platform on the internet, I finally found blogger and google site. So, I began writing posts in my Manokwari Papua blog. The content varies from hiking, bird watching and caving in the Table Mountain to Cultural Carnival. Now with a lot of free webhosting space and writing platform from Google, Blogger and now this Hubpages.com, I can write as many articles as I want about ecotourism for my town. I also write articles about travel guide for Manokwari that I put in my own website Englishland.
How to make money in tourism
- Well, the first stream of income will be through the monetization of the blogs and website that I have created for promoting ecotourism. My highest earnings come from Google Adsense. I used to install Kontera code in my blogs but later I gave it up. Now I am trying to monetize them by being Amazon Associate. I don't know if it works or not. Many people say that it does not work. Well, honestly I haven't been able to make money from promoting Amazon products.
- The second stream of income from promoting ecotourism is from the selling of art products at my home based bookstore to tourists. There were some tourists who came to Manokwari after reading my articles. They stayed in Losmen Kagum. It is a small but comfortable guesthouse that is run by my sister, Ivana. The art products that I sell are postcards, bookmarks, and paintings (original and reproduction). One day, someone from an NGO that works on alternative tourism came to my bookstore to buy some books. I showed her some postcards. She looked at them and decided to buy one hundred pieces. The postcards were reproduction of drawings created in colored pencils by Paul Warere, a Papuan artist who is also my close friend. Now, more tourists have come to Manokwari and the postcards have become favorite souvenirs. Some paintings have also been bought by tourists (both domestic and foreign) who come to my bookstore to buy souvenirs. All of the paintings and postcards are about birds of paradise, beautiful scenery of Papuan landscape and wildlife in tropical rainforest of Papua.
- The third way is writing about ecotourism in several Indonesian magazines. Besides promoting ecotourism through the internet and monetizing it with Google Adsense. I also wrote some articles about ecotourism and send them to a number of national magazines in Indonesia. Some have been published by them. The honorarium is quite good. For every article I got around 38 US dollars. It might not be high for Western Standard but It is quite high for Indonesian. I am happy because I can make money even before domestic tourists come to this town after reading my stories in Intisari and Flona magazines.
- The money that I receive directly from guiding tourists goes to my personal project Free Books for Papuan Children.
Mansinam Island Manokwari of West Papua
Manokwari town a new tourist destination in Indonesia
Working as tour guide
Actually, I also make money by being a tour guide . Every time there are tourists coming to Manokwari and need my guiding service for hiking along the Table Mountain and Arfak mountain, or snorkeling in Manem islet, I will guide them.
With the number of tourists coming into Manokwari town is rising, the number of souvenirs that they need is also rising. In my articles, I write many feature stories about local artists too. Many of them have reported that they have been able to sell souvenirs to foreign tourists with better price after I promoted them on my Manokwari Papua Ecotourism blog and Papuan Art and Culture Stories Website. They give their full support to me.
Next week, I am going to conduct a meeting for local Papuan artists to discuss ways to make our neighborhood as an art center where domestic and foreign tourists can come and enjoy visual arts, and performances. I hope that by more coordination and cooperation we can bring more positive impacts to the local artists and deliver better service to the tourists and at the same time minimize negative impacts to our surrounding environment.
- What is Eco-Tourism
Ecotourism is a tourism that encourages interaction between travelers and nature places as well as with people who live in them. Small scale tours will help the indigenous people preserve their environment and earn reasonable income.
- How to make money from tourism
My personal experience in making money from tourism by promoting and selling tour packages through my blog and website. I have guided a lot of tourists around my town doing snorkeling, hiking, birdwatching and mountain biking. Tourism creates jobs.