The future of sustainable tourism: CAUSINDY 2023 day one wrap

24 May, 2323 | CAUSINDY 2023

From panel discussions to networking opportunities, here’s a roundup of the highlights from the first day of the 2023 CAUSINDY conference.

CAUSINDY has returned with its first in-person conference in four years.

Day one of the 2023 conference, held in the student city of Yogyakarta, kicked off with an enlightening introductory session which introduced the conference theme of sustainable tourism.

“For many people in Australia and Indonesia, their first interaction with the other country is through tourism,” CAUSINDY CEO Freya Gaunt told the assembled delegates, mentors and speakers.

She explained that when we talk about sustainability, it’s not only for the purposes of environmental conservation, but also numerous other interlinked aspects such as economics and engagement with Indigenous communities.

Next up was Gilang Ahmad Fauzi, founder of tourism company Travelxism, who provided a rundown of the impact of tourism, efforts of both nations to develop sustainable tourism practices, and the sector’s inherent fragility.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it devastated the whole sector,” he said. “Many sectors were hit hard, [especially] the tourism sector… It’s taken us three years to recover from the pandemic.”

Higher education consultant Elena Williams, herself part of the CAUSINDY alumni, injected extra energy into proceedings with an interactive networking activity, before the exchange of ideas continued with the traditional CAUSINDY Politics panel.

“Sustainable tourism is a journey to reach a condition where tourism gives a net benefit to social, cultural, religious, psychological, economic and environmental dimensions of people’s lives,” noted panellist Hendrie Adji Kusworo, the director of the doctoral program in tourism studies at UGM.

Sustainable tourism policies exist and are ready for implementation, explained tourism, agriculture and public policy expert Ferry Sabam Samosir. The problem is how to do so systematically.

“Indonesia has a decentralised system, and the central government cannot automatically drive the local governments [to implement the policy],” he said.

“Standards of sustainable tourism have to be integrated into the system. If not, [the policy] gets stuck at the central government level and won’t be implemented in the regions.”

For more on the Politics panel, check out our full coverage here.

Later in the afternoon, the Economics panel discussion explored the range of possible definitions of sustainable tourism, how the Indonesian government can place sustainable tourism in the long-term planning as a facilitator of economic growth, and how to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of ecotourism in Indonesia.

Professor Budy Resosudarmo outlined an economics framework that could be implemented within the realm of ecotourism, a framework that prioritises several key principles to promote intergenerational equity.

“Implementation of intergenerational equity is difficult because you first need to know the needs of future generations,” he said.

“You have to imagine the needs of the future generation [by working] backward, and utilise resources to guarantee that they will receive the capital that we transfer to them.”

For more on the Economics panel, check out our full coverage here.

Day one also featured group activities for delegates as part of the CAUSINDY Review.

Run across multiple days of the conference, the CAUSINDY Review tasks delegates with brainstorming a solution to a particular problem or challenge within the sustainable tourism sector.

Delegates are guided through this process by one of a group of experienced mentors, which this year includes Clarice Campbell, Elena Williams, Gilang Ahmad Fauzi, Robbie Gaspar and Wahyu Kusumaningtias.

These delegate-led projects will culminate with group presentations on the final day of the conference.

Don’t miss live coverage of the conference on our Instagram page, and keep an eye on our website for further session highlights.