Tempo.Co, Imaji Lasahido (Intern), Jakarta – A foreign tourist uploaded a video on TikTok saying that the traditional village of Sade in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, is a scamming village. This was revealed in the video after the tourist bought souvenirs at a price that was considered expensive.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, explained that the assertion is untrue. The claim was considered a misperception and miscommunication.
"Previously what happened was a misperception because the two involved parties (the tourist and the local) did not communicate properly, which created an opinion towards Sade Village that appeared to not treat tourists well," said Sandiaga in his statement, Wednesday, December 21, 2022.
Due to the assertion, Sandiaga said that his party would strengthen its training and service for tourism and creative economy actors, especially in villages that welcome tourists. In this case, he will involve the Lombok Tourism Polytechnic.
"In addition to English, there will also be assistance for creative economy products so that there is a standardization of quality and cost with reasonable and appropriate price limits for creative economy products in the Central Lombok area," said Sandiaga.
According to Sandiaga, Sade Village is a beautiful village with a strong cultural and creative economy and community. "I've been there several times and we will continue to provide assistance and training, including improving the community's skills in English," he said.
Head of the Tourism Awareness Group (Pokdarwis) for Sade Tourism Village, Ardinata Sanah, stated that what the tourist has claimed is inaccurate, considering that the people of Sade Tourism Village have been very open to tourists for a long time and have always tried to be good hosts. "However, with all the limitations, we cannot communicate well with tourists who ask questions to villagers," he said.
The claim was that the tourist is about to buy souvenirs that cost Rp60,000 but considered to be very expensive. An attempt to make an offer was made but due to limited communication, an agreement was not made, and eventually, the tourist handed over the money.
"The problem is just a misunderstanding about the price, even though the price of a souvenir depends on the quality of the woven cloth that is being offered," said Sanah.
Sade Village to start for improvement
The incident made enough for the tourism village to be frequently discussed. However, this traditional village of the Sasak tribe immediately went for an improvement to welcome domestic and foreign tourists.
Sanah also stated that the incident would be a lesson for the community in the village to improve. "We have identified the weakness, God willing (Inshallah), we have already started to improve ourselves to be better," he said.
He also said that elderly craftsmen will not be needed to sell souvenirs anymore. "From now on, the souvenir sellers in Sade Village must be of productive age," said Sanah.
Currently, tourist visits to Sade village are still stable after the viral accusation. From local management data, the number of visits by domestic tourists reaches 200 to 300 people per day. Meanwhile, the number of visits by foreign tourists can reach 50 people per day.