Womanpreneurs Ambiance of the New Pangandaran

It has been 12 years since the great tsunami devastated Pangandaran, one of the used-to-be popular coastal tourism destinations in Indonesia. Today, the socioeconomic environment in the area is slowing down based on what KK DMSN experienced last week. Talking about sustainable tourism, weekdays in Pangandaran mean empty streets and slow business, while on weekends is correlated with enormous profits to cover weekdays spending. From the actor perspective, woman are majority of seller in the area: from street vendor to kiosk, restaurant, SMEs, etc. Thus, KK DMSN held a forum group discussion to search for nutritious ideas on how womanpreneurship correlated with sustainable tourism. The head of tourism and cultural office, the head of tourism destination management, womenpreneurs of restaurants, souvenirs, accommodations, and travels came together to explore the obstacles faced in the new Pangandaran tourism.

KK DMSN found that the motivation of womanpreneurship in Pangandaran is personal callings to support their spouse. Men in Pangandaran work as fisherman and the job holds high risk and uncertainty. To minimize them, women as the partners naturally intend to help. “We started the business from the very bottom point you can imagine. We walked on foot with our baby on our back and we offered our product from one house to another.”, said one of the respondents. “I am sure 100% that without us woman, Pangandaran as a tourism destination will be so quiet.”, add the other respondent.

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However, there is significant different faced by those womanpreneurs. “Doing business in Pangandaran nowadays is so complicated. The administration, the tax, the low number of tourists spending their money in local shops, they are poles apart from Pangandaran before tsunami.”. Some respondents also highlighted the mismatch of policy stated by the local government which brought the business down,”Please imagine this situation. When you enter the area, you will be asked to pay IDR 60,000 as the entrance fee. However, due the relocations of the kiosks in the beach area, tourists will have their lunches, snacks, and drinks ready from home because they will have to walk to find those things. But it is us who are subject to monthly government tax. Government need to join me to run the business which only gain profit in weekends.”. One of the solution offered was the marketing strategy. The internal support in Pangandaran is ready to welcome the tourist. However, the tap is not opened yet. Government need to do a rebranding strategy to let the world know that Pangandaran is getting better and ready to serve the visitors’ needs. The team also found that beside seafood, Pangandaran has a lot of promising SMEs like sirup honje and fish crackers.

The visit was much appreciated by the local government. “We need this kind of collaboration with academic institution. We can solve every problem. However, it is trial and error. It takes much more energy and resources. By getting the knowledge from SBM ITB, we hope we can manage Pangandaran in a more collaborative and efficient way.”, Hj. Undang as the head of tourism and cultural office said. Next visit will be scheduled in May 2018 to bring, explore, and discover greater ideas.

Author: Lidia Mayangsari, MSM