Stone Garden Community
Stone Garden Community is a group of local guides at the Stone Garden Geo Park in West Bandung. They call themselves as “Pasir Pawon” Community. Pasir Pawon is Sundanese word for Stone Garden. The community aims to manage and preserve the stone garden area while continue developing it through the environmentally-friendly process.
Prior focusing on managing this Geopark, most of the community members worked as stone miners. Around 2014, a professor from Institute of Technology of Bandung found the historical values of the stones in that area. Since then, the Indonesia government has decided the area to become one of National Geo Park in Indonesia. Due to such situation, they could no longer mine the stone.
After series meetings with local government, the community members find they can manage the area to become one of tourism destinations in Indonesia. Local government provided some kinds of hospitality introduction training to the group of villagers. They learned about greetings and the way to deliver the information about such destination.
As relatively new tourism destination, the community realizes the need to improve the infrastructure, the quality of their services and marketing channels. “We keep working hard to improve our partnership local or national travel agency companies. We thankful for the agents who bring travelers to visit this place. For better area development, we hope to get access to connect with the travelers directly,” Sukamayadi, the community leader, said.
Furthermore, Sukamayadi, also mentioned that there are about 50 members of the community. Some of them are drop-out children who could not afford to continue their senior high school. “I wish they can have access to training that will enable them to become a certified local guide. This will change their life,” Sukamayadi said.
Training by YoExplore
As per YoExplore commitment for community empowerment in integration with the marketplace technology system, I was very happy when Pak Sukamayadi invited us to share about our service to the community.
My team and I came to visit the community. On our first visit in June 2016, we learned about the potential activities worth to create and to explore more in this area. We also learned about the needs of drop-out children to have access to vocational training. We then facilitated a community discussion about three weeks after the first meeting.
There was about 15 leaders of Stone Garden community gathered to discuss simple things they can do to improve their hospitality services. They agree to take full attention about the cleanliness of the area especially the toilet. “Clean Toilet will Attract More Guests” has become their motto. In addition, they also learned how to take advantage of YoExplore online marketplace.
To optimize their service, they created three small groups. As a pilot, each group will be responsible for managing and promoting one activity. The group coordinator will become the contact person when managing their listings on YoExplore. I was so touched by their enthusiasm to learn about the technology”.
Potential Activities for Development
Due to its historical value, the area is definitely worth for educational tour. Furthermore, travelers may also enjoy capturing best moments and scenery of the area. Trekking, climbing, camping and pre-wedding photo-shoot activities are some activities worth to explore and to be developed.
The area is also very potential for further activities development such us motor cross racing, off-road, flying fox, and outbound. If you have these kinds of activity ideas in mind, you may consider exploring partnership opportunity with the Stone Garden Community. Your partnership will help the development of this area to become a more attractive tourism destination.