Rindrasih Erda

PhD candidate Faculty of Geoscience, Department of Human Geography and Planning, Utrecht University Nederland


Tourist destinations are increasingly challenged by environmental disasters brought by natural events such as earthquake, floods, drought, windstorms, volcano eruption, typhoon, etc. The differences between destination management types create the various debates on the effectiveness of management type in dealing with disaster. The community based tourism destination have interesting aspect to be examined which distinct from government or private based destination. The contribution of this article are: (1) to establish an assessment framework for the community based tourism management capacity in dealing with natural disaster, and (2) to investigate the community based tourism crisis management following the disaster lifecycle in Candirejo tourism village including emergency, recover and prevention. The selection of Candirejo is based on its impact from Merapi Eruption at 2010 which also one of community based tourism. The study applied qualitative analysis through interview toward stakeholders and villagers in the field survey activity conducted at 2011 and 2014. The research resulted the examination of community-based management in emergency case, recovery and preparation in the village that becomes a tourism area. Several notions have been drawn based on the key assessment framework including: individual and community level responses, livelihood alternative beside tourism, uneven access to economic capital and insurance, lack of disaster awareness and preparedness, tourism recovery policies, resilient market and clientele and effectivity of community based tourism disaster management.

Key Words: resident, disaster, tourist, destination, and preparedness


Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world in terms of both number of employment and revenue. International tourism pushed ahead in 2014 as the number of international tourists (overnight visitors) grew 4.4% with an additional 48 million more than in 2013, to reach a new record total of 1,135 million. This caps five consecutive years of above average growth since the global economic crisis of 2009. In term of tourism contribution to trade, International tourism share 30% of the world’s exports of services and 6% of total exports. This contribution is similar for both developed and emerging economies. Moreover as an export category, it ranks fourth worldwide, after fuels, chemicals and food, but notably ahead of automotive products. Compared to fuels, earnings from international tourism benefit a large number of exporters and the sector also tends to create more employment (UNWTO, 2014).

Travel and tourism industry is a significant part of the employment structures of advanced industrial nations and lesser-developed countries. The growth potential of the tourism industry means more opportunities for investment in the future. Tourism industry has become a highly dynamic spatial network of production and consumption. There are such implication in some of the critical theoretical issues of current concern to economic geographers; globalization of capital and firms, deindustrialization and regional economic restructuring, increased significance of strategic alliance networks, spatial division of labour, urban revitalization, the growth of economic-based information technology service, evolution of advanced services and creation of postmodern/post-industrial/post-Fordist landscape (Ioannides & Debbage, 1998).

Each and every tourism development context whether local, regional, or national, is unique. Not only are destinations defined by a particular combination of environment resources, natural or man-made but also the robustness or fragility of those resources. Furthermore, the types of attraction, which influence the tourism experience, scale, scope, character, and stage of development of the tourism sector define the destination. It generally represents parameters within which the tourism-environment interface may be perceived, and consequently appropriate policies for the management and development of tourism are considered.

The tourism literature classifies five factors why some destinations are vulnerable to shocks: (1) the place-specific nature of tourist activity (Richter & Waugh, 1986; Sönmez, Apostolopoulos, & Tarlow, 1999), (2) the fragility of destination images to negative perceptions of risk (Huan, Beaman, & Shelby, 2004; Richter & Waugh, 1986; Sönmez et al., 1999), (3) a high dependency on tourism as a primary livelihood (Knox & Marston, 2004; Ritchie, 2004), (4) a heavy reliance on the marketing strategies of international tour operators (Knox & Marston, 2004), and (5) high levels of seasonality (Meheux & Parker, 2006). In addition, in assessing the vulnerability in risk prone location framework, there are a lot of issues that provide that such as climate change, disaster management and food security, however the approaches have not provide the understanding of assessing vulnerability in tourism destination. The study conducted by Nankenrvis (2000) explain about an industry specific vulnerability framework focus on all tourism business stakeholders operating at the global to local scales only which not completely explain at the community level (Nankervis, 2000). In the absence of a suitable framework, this paper presents the framework to assess the community management tourism destination in dealing with disaster. Furthermore, it develops a framework for analysing the multiple causal factors that contribute to the vulnerability of tourism communities. Through those understanding, I deem it essential to investigate how the community based tourism can be sustained in the face of risk and vulnerability by assessing the case study areas about its disaster risk management.

The debate on community based planning is abundant, however the discussion the community based disaster reduction is very limited, in particular, the debate about distribution of authority across multiple institutions in practice. The question is raising to what extend does the community have power to conduct the community based disaster reduction in tourism destination, because the community based tourism itself is debatable in term of profitability, who speak for the community, and barrier of local participation (Blackstock, 2005).

In October 2010 the Merapi Vulcano erupted and impacted to physical aspect, civilization and economic aspect. After that, Kelud volcano erupted in February 2014. The volcano is lied in Central Java Provinces and Yogyakarta Special Region and in four districts (Boyolali, Magelang and Klaten districts under the administrative of Central Java Province and Sleman district under the administrative of Yogyakarta Special Region). It has been four years from Merapi eruption and one year of Kelud eruption meaning that there is sufficient time to analyse three stages of disaster lifecycle in term of tourism crisis management through community based. The location of the study is the village of Candirejo, as the representative of the community surrounding the area of heritage site Borobudur that is located in the Regency of Magelang, the Province of Central Java. This paper investigates the community based tourism crisis management following the disaster lifecycle in Candirejo tourism village, which includes emergency, recovery and prevention phase. Finally the paper discusses the issues related community based tourism in dealing with disaster and calling future research which could contribute to better understanding, planning and management of crisis and disaster in the tourism based on community management.


2.1. Tourism Disaster Management

In tourism management, the term of crisis is currently well known. In order to understand the disaster event with the relation to tourist destination we need to consider the concept of disaster lifecycle and destination lifecycle. The disaster lifecycle is introduced by Baker et.al (2014). Disaster as a cycle illustrations no clear beginning or ending point that means each phase influencing the next (Baker, Cormier, & Cormier, 2014). They argue that the intervention intersecting at any point in the cycle will influence the entire chain. Besides, the National Response Framework from FEMA (2013) introduces five areas of cycle including prevention, preparedness, responses, recovery and mitigation.

Prevention. Although not every disaster can be prevented by the occurrence of disaster that might be predicted. Prevention capabilities, being able to prevent an event from happening, are in a constant state of development as more have learned about disaster aetiology (Baker et al., 2014). It is therefore, understanding the technology especially on meteorological system and weather tracking greatly improves the capabilities in preventing from disaster. Improved national and local securities enable the targeted prevention of man-made disasters such as bombing and acts of terrorism that have influenced the occurrence of events.

Preparedness. The next phase in the disaster life cycle is preparedness. Preparedness consists of individuals, families and community anticipating personal needs. This identification is conducted in the event of a disaster and maxing on ways to meet those needs by increasing awareness, establishing a plan; obtaining physical supplies such as food, water and health related items, and identifying shelter options. Ideally, personal preparedness builds response capacity helping individuals to meet their own needs without the assistance of external resources. Hence plans and preparation activities conducted past to an event allow for a more efficient use of resources post-event, and contribute to saving lives and property (Baker et al., 2014).

Response. Disaster response involves post event activities aimed to limit loss of life and property, assisting a population in regaining a pre-event level of functioning (Baker et al., 2014). The scale of the response varies greatly but is in direct proportion to magnitude of the disaster, geographic and population vulnerability of the region, and the availability of resources. Immediate response efforts centre on providing crisis intervention service and stabilizing the community. General public oftentimes confuses response activities with longer phase work that occurs in recovery. While there is some overlap, the goal of response is stabilization of opposed to restoration of pre-event functioning, the goal of recovery.

Recovery and mitigation are also important parts on the disaster life cycle. However recovery activities commonly receive less attention in the media even though such activities can take place months or years after the event, depending on the level of devastation. The recovery period includes damage and risk assessment by authorities, resulting in plans for mitigation, or actions taken in order to lessen the effect of future events. Recovery and mitigation go hand in hand as efforts made to restore communities involve changes that make areas less vulnerable to future risk (Baker et al., 2014).

The disaster lifecycle would be very useful to be linked with the destination lifecycle ideas. Butler (1980) wrote about the basic idea of Butler’s Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) model that a destination begins from exploration – involvement - development – stagnation – rejuvenation – decline. The first cycle is exploration as a relatively unknown and visitors initially come in small number restricted by lack of access, facilities, and local knowledge, which is labelled as Exploration. When people discover the destination, the information about it is spread which spurs the increased attraction, amenities and better facilities and infrastructure; this is called the development stage. In this stage the number of tourist arrivals begins to grow rapidly (Butler, 1980). When the tourist arrivals grow rapidly the issue that comes up is carrying capacity. There are a limited number of tourists who can visit the destination area without causing negative impact. The concept of carrying capacity applies for amenities, accommodation, and facilities. When the number of visitors is over the limit, the stage is called stagnation; meaning if the number of tourist increases then there will be lower of satisfaction. The rise from exploration to stagnation often happens very fast, this is an implication of the exponential nature of growth curve.

Tourist destination is defined by a particular combination of environmental resources both natural and man-made. It also includes the factor of robustness or fragility of those resources, the significance or centrality to the tourism experience, and the scale, scope, character and stage of development of the tourism sector more generally represent parameters within which the tourism-environment interface may be perceived. It should be supported by appropriate policies for the management and development of tourism considered.

Tourism development is facing the challenge of natural disaster. Managing the tourism is not only merely about managing its development but also managing the condition during crisis. There is very little literature discussing about how to manage tourism sector in crisis especially in crisis due to natural disaster. According to (Ritchie, 2009), there are three main stages in managing such incidents on tourism; 1) prevention and planning; 2) implementation; 3) evaluation and feedback. This stage mostly follows the disaster lifecycle introduced by Baker et.al (2004). Moreover, there are visible similarities between the lifecycle of crisis/disaster and the strategic planning or management framework.

The phase in disaster process introduced by Ritchie (2009) is included in six phases. The first stage is pre event, when action can be taken to prevent or mitigate the effects of potential disaster. This stage is precursors which the element including set up the destination management team; identify the agencies and institution relevant with the cases; establish the framework of cooperation; develop the disaster management strategy; educate of stakeholder, industry, employees, customers and communities; and provide agreement between actors. The second phase is prodromal, when the event is obvious imminent. In this step, the important elements management is a warning system, disaster management command centre, and secures facilities. The third phase is emergency, when the action is very necessary to protect people and property. The element of emergency in this phase is action such as rescue/evacuation procedures, emergency accommodation and food supply, medical/health services and monitoring and communication systems. The fourth phase is immediate, a point where the short-term needs of people to restore services and make it normal live. The next phase is recovery in long-term process. It includes the repair of damaged infrastructure, rehabilitation of environmentally damage areas, and trauma centre for victims, and new strategy to promote the area. The last phase is resolution means routine activities to improve the establishment (Ritchie, 2009).

2.2. Community Based Tourism Dealing with Disaster

In the late twentieth century, the term of community based disaster management has risen. In fact, government in many countries has used citizen participation for disaster response. The government has promoted the community-based disaster management concept to their citizen through different programs. Community based disaster management approaches can be built through physical support and psychological support. The physical support means by providing the facilities and infrastructure that are needed for the community related to disaster prevention. Hence the psychological support can be provided by developing the local resources, providing training and capacity building, upgrading the local structure and institution (Arora & Arora, 2013). In term of developing the community based disaster management approaches government intervention is much known rather than community initiative.

Management destination is different between community based tourism, government based tourism and private sector based tourism. CBT mostly concern on the involvement of the host community in planning and maintaining tourism development in order to create a more sustainable industry (Hall, 1991). The tourism industry is based on the participation of local residents, for example they role as employees, local entrepreneurs, guides and on resident friendliness towards tourists. The tourism literature mostly mentioned that the tourism would be more success when the residents support (Blackstock, 2005). The statement is also reinforced by many scholars that CBT would create sustainability, contribute to social justice, values for empowerment, open access for community to control the political and economic process in their environment, develop emancipatory collective responses to local issues (Gilchrist, 2003; Ife, 1995).


The study applied the qualitative analysis through interview toward stakeholders and villagers. Library research and recording through audio and visual were also used for this study. Since quantification and categorization of data in tourism studies have been criticized as a tedious attempt to refine what is already known rather than creating knowledge along new frontiers (Coalter, 1999). The data collecting and analysis were carried out gradually as follows: library research, observation, photography, tapping and interpreting and in-depth interview.

Moreover, since the study of tourism is considered a social process the deeply understanding are important. For this study, qualitative methods are well suited. Several methods are used in the study in order to obtain the data and information from various related sources. The data collecting and analysis are carried out gradually as follows:

  • Library Research is carried out the previous study. This method also examines the secondary data and its relation to macro and micro context of development that influence to environment and tourism. The study materials used are various sources of reference, such as books, scientific articles, and research reports.
  • Observation is the method to collect the data of objects, products, and services related to the study area. Field survey was conducted in the Candirejo Village. It is an effective method of field survey in gathering the data of observed object behaviour. The observation was documented visually by using camera for two and three dimension of visualization.
  • Photography, tapping and interpreting have conducted to capture the pictures and video of the objects. The document would be very important to support the report, presentation and for the publication purpose. Moreover, the process editing the video would be completed as part of the phase of the activities.
  • In-depth interview is conducted to obtain more specific and explanative information of the study. It selected several informants for in-depth interview (n = 15). The information becomes the materials to complete the data. To help procuring the accurate information and to guarantee a systematic data structure, the interview guidelines, which has been arranged, are used. Its aim is to facilitate the researchers to crosscheck the data to the data gained by other instruments.

The cases study is applied in this research. The author examined the Candirejo village tourism as the case study area. The village tourism was impacted by the natural disaster, Merapi volcano eruption in 2010. This village is selected because it has the interesting root of community-based tourism, as the pioneer and most successful in Borobudur temple surrounding area. The interview was conducted at December 2013, however researcher observed the study case location since 2010 to 2013. The respondents for interview were selected based on snowball system. The first respondent was the community leader in Candirejo. After that, researcher went to the management of Village Tourism Coop and conducted interview with the people in charge, interview the tour guides and homestay owner were also conducted. Author interview the Tourism Board in the Regency of Magelang for clarification and data resources. Researcher joined the tourism package acted as tourists to experience as the tourist in the area. Author stayed in the village for three days joined the tourism package. Moreover, the analysis method used in this study is qualitative descriptive analysis. The data are analysed by interpreting the tendency and the concentration of the informants’ statements on the raised issue (in data collecting instrument). The location of Candirejo village tourism can be seen in the pictures below:

Fig 1: Several villages surround Borobudur