Tourism Opportunities Presented by Indonesia’s Volcanic Landscapes

Authors: Samantha St Amour-Gomes*, University of Waterloo, Sanjay Nepal, University of Waterloo, Brent Doberstein, University of Waterloo
Topics: Tourism Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Tourism, Disaster Tourism, Volcano, Java, Indonesia, Livelihoods
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Zulu, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With volcanic disasters altering landscapes and destroying subsistence ways of living and capital assets, an alternative form of economic livelihood is required. Tourism, one of the largest industries in the world, has been suggested as a potential form of economic livelihood for volcanic communities impacted by eruptions. This research explores the different types of tourism opportunities that are presented by Indonesia’s volcanic landscapes. With densely populated slopes, 130 active volcanoes, and tourist visitation to volcanic destinations on the rise, Indonesia provides a perfect setting to explore the potential for volcano-based tourism. Three volcanic locations on the island of Java, Indonesia were selected as case studies for primary data collection: Mt. Merapi, Mt. Kawah Ijen, and Mt. Bromo. Primary data sources, including direct and participatory observation, expert opinion, and informal interviews, were combined with secondary data derived from scholarly journal articles and government reports. Both the existence of, and future possibilities for multiple types of volcano-based tourism on the island of Java were found. Emerging examples of and further possibilities for disaster tourism, medical disaster tourism, virtual tourism, adventure tourism, geotourism, and cultural tourism were revealed and analyzed. Factors that could affect the success of volcano tourism ventures were also considered, including local ownership, safety and health concerns, and tourist behaviour. Ultimately, the diversity of tourism types emerging on Indonesia’s volcanic landscapes represents a growing industry that has the ability to provide alternative livelihoods, contributing to economic survival and revitalization for local communities impacted by eruptions.

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