News Office (The Jakarta Post)
Tue 3 March 2020
Social media plays an important role in popularizing tourist destinations, especially in Indonesia. Travelers are often encouraged to come and capture their best shots which they then upload to their multiple social media accounts.
However, fame sometimes comes at a price. Driven by the desire to publish beautiful photos and by the fear of missing out, some tourists tend to clutter places, abandoning the label and ending up ruining the natural beauty of the tourist place in which they are.
In some countries, over-tourism has become a major problem, with severe environmental impacts forcing governments to impose restrictions or even close off-site sites.
In Indonesia, here are some of the most recent tourist spots that have caused a stir on the internet:
Ranu Manduro, East Java
Ranu Manduro in Mojokerto Regency in East Java may seem unfamiliar to travellers. Until a video went viral at the end of February, showing the green landscapes of the region with the landscape of Mount Penanggungan in the background.
The video also featured “Sunday Best”, a popular song by American band Surfaces, and since then the area has come to be known as “Feeling Good” Ranu Manduro due to the song’s lyrics. After the video became a hit on Instagram and Twitter, people from different parts of the country flocked to the scene.
– Adoel Sohib (@Adoel_Sohib) February 25, 2020
Kompas.com (reported that heavy traffic congestion occurred at Ranu Manduro as too many people tried to enter the area. Netizens also shared videos on plastic waste left by visitors.
— Wereng Alas (@WachidYuliantoA) March 1, 2020
Previously, Ranu Manduro served as a place of sand and rock extraction. It wasn’t meant to be a tourist hotspot, although the rainy season apparently created a lush green landscape.
On Sunday, the spot would have been closed to travellers. Manduro Manggung Gajah village chief Eka Dwi Fimansyah said the closure was carried out by PT Wira Bumi, the owner of the area.
Eka expressed his hope that the area would be open to the public as it brought benefits to local residents. Currently, he is still in discussion about this with the company. “I always help residents apply for the business license in Surabaya,” Eka said. Tribunnews.com.
Negeri di Atas Awan, Banten
Negeri di Atas Awan Gunung Luhur (Land of Mount Luhur Above the Clouds) is known as the place to go when you want to witness a sea of clouds nearby. From 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. 901 meters above the sea, clouds shrouded the spot, creating perfect images for social media.
Located in Lebak Regency, Banten, the place was very popular last year. At one time, tens of thousands of travelers visited Lebak and caused a 7 kilometer traffic jam. Some failed to make it to the top and had to turn back.
Anticipating the tourism boom, the local government has prepared several facilities including public restrooms and a trail for visitors who use private vehicles, as reported kompas.com.
Amaryllis Garden, Yogyakarta
In 2015, an amaryllis garden owned by Sukadi in Gunungkidul Regency, Yogyakarta was in full bloom and attracting visitors.
However, many tourists stomped on the flowers and picked them while trying to take selfies, generating criticism and complaints on social media.
The flowers, locally known as Puspa Patuk (the Patuk flower), usually bloom from late November to mid-December and can be sensitive to rainfall. In 2019, for example, flowers did not bloom perfectly due to low rainfall intensity, according to Tribunnews.com.
— Kolonel Dhemit (@AryaRagiel) November 27, 2015
After the 2015 incident, Sukadi built photo spots and installed lines to separate flowers from visitors. (wir/wng)