Examining Local Women Involvement in Tourism
"As women, we have the same part, working not only to make a profit but also to make a social impact on the community. As women, we can be a good role model in making a movement towards change that can be felt by everyone. Women will always be a figure who inspires by their way of managing their time well." - Stella Angelica
Homestay is one of the most common accommodations provided in the tourism village. Particularly in Indonesia, it is usually managed by local people through the Tourism Awareness Group in each tourism village. It is no different in Huta Tinggi, a traditional village located in Samosir Island, North Sumatra which has now become a tourist attraction. However, the interesting part is that the homestay in Huta Tinggi is managed mostly by women. Let’s see how women in Huta Tinggi manage their homestays and the impact they bring to the tourism activity in their village.
The Beginning of Tourism Activity in Huta Tinggi
The tourism activity in Huta Tinggi began in February 2013 when the Tourism Awareness Group of Hutatinggi was founded. This group has missions to raise the awareness of tourism among its population, strengthen cooperation for the cleanliness of the village environment, develop the local business of onion chips, and conserve the traditional dance and music. Initially, this group was formed by church members who began to understand the importance of being aware of tourism because it could help the economic growth of highland villages. The group has been actively participating in Samosir district tourism activities for seven years now.
Local Women's Role in Tourism in Huta Tinggi
In Huta Tinggi, women take part directly in coordinating each tourism activity in the village and the socialization process to other villagers about the significance of tourism. There are many activities in Huta Tinggi village which are managed by women such as traditional cooking class, milking the buffalo, farming, grinding coffee beans, and traditional games. They argue that by developing a tourist village, they can increase the well-being of the village's community.
Local Women's Impact in The Involvement in Tourism
Huta Tinggi is considered lucky to have women who can move its community forward. Apart from the profit generated from the tourism activity, the children in the village have also been benefited greatly. They become more creative in practicing traditional arts and motivated to learn English. So not only their parents but the children also benefit from this tourism conscious movement.
Contributor's Note on Women Involvement in Tourism
"Women assume many roles in tourism: as leaders, innovators, business owners, teachers, trainers, and guides—and, of course, as tourists. Women account for the majority of the global tourism workforce but tend to work in a low-paying, informal, and low-status job. By joining this group and co-managing a homestay, I understand that the role of women is very important to stimulate their husbands' enthusiasm who also serves as a member. The delivery of speech from a woman is more easily understood by the community." - Stella Angelica
Get to KnowzOur Contributor
Stella Angelica is a student at Medan Tourism Polytechnic majoring in Tourism Planning and Marketing. She is also a caretaker at the Huta Tinggi Homestay and a part of a tourism awareness group in Huta Tinggi village at Samosir Regency, North Sumatra.