The trip was supported by the Ministry of Tourism in Indonesia and two-thirds of the expenses were covered by The Quintin Hogg Trust . Run jointly with the University of Pancasila, the trip was the first formal collaboration between the two institutions after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding during an international visit in August 2016.
The group, which hosted students from eleven countries, stayed in homestay accommodation in Ngadas Village in East Java, where they were able to consider different aspects of community tourism in the village and in Mount Bromo, having experienced it first-hand themselves.
Working with fellow students from the University of Pancasila, Westminster students met staff from a non-governmental organisation looking to develop tourism in rural areas. Together they also interviewed local people involved in the tourism industry, including local leaders, homestay owners, jeep drivers and horsemen.
Speaking about the experience, one student said: “Immersing ourselves in a completely different culture and having to live a life different than the one we’re used to. I think it’s very important to experience it in order to humble ourselves. I absolutely loved meeting the people and seeing to what great lengths they go to make us, tourists, happy and content. Their hospitality and welcoming behaviour is what made me the happiest.”
They used this knowledge and their own experiences to prepare presentations focused on Partnerships, Cultural and Environmental Preservation, Community Participation, and Managing Tourist Experiences. Their presentations will be used to inform key players in the local tourism industry.