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Lagundri bay is a well known tourist attraction centre, its popular because of its magnificent water which provides serene setting for surfers. For decades, the people of lagundri have been practising farming, but there endeavour to make a living out of it has been unsuccessful. Endemic poverty has been a significant problem to the people of lagundri. The sales that the people of lagundri make out of selling the coconuts and the rice, is hardly enough to put bread in the table. The agricultural practise to local villagers has proven not to provide the necessary means that they can use to pay for the school fees and medical purposes. The local residents hardly get two dollars per day, a condition of living in poverty according to the World Bank. The only source of income that can influence the people of lagundri is the tourism industry.
The lagundri bay is at the southern part of Nias Island. The 2005 earthquake came with it positive impacts to the people of lagundri, it uplifted the coastal reefs making them even better for waves, and this improvement has resulted to increase of visitors to lagundri bay. The bay is popular for its horseshoe shape beauty. Its location has made it to strong scene tourist attraction, the island visitors are generally surfers, making lagundri surf central. Lagundri has got out of this world sandy beaches, and their culture and nature is incomparable to any other.
The social-cultural impacted in positive and in negatives. Tourism conventionally has both effects to the people of Lagundri. Tourism plays a significant role in economic development. Tourism integrates peace among interacting communities. People on the move for adventure come into contact with different people. Tourism has an educational component, in that it furthers understanding among different people and cultures and also provides cultural exchange among the visitors and locals. This increases the chances for mutual support and common understanding. Through sustainable tourism in lagundri has added value to the local community in many ways. For example, the tourism has created job opportunities to local residents; this has increased their earnings through tourism related activities. It has also reduced the country migration to other urban areas, and the residents need not to rely on the plantation of rice anymore. This means that the civilization in the country is advancing and that people are embracing the modern world attributes wile sticking to their own culture.
The surfing industry has promoted the development of community facilities such as; construction of clinics that could not have been developed. Lagundri has also benefited from the upgrade of their infrastructure, recreational facilities based along the beach and transportation networks have also been improved throughout lagundri. The people of lagundri have also sustained their culture and preserved it through the interaction. Tourists conserve and preserve natural resources and protecting the local heritage. The people of lagundri during their festivities and celebrations entertain the guests with famous war dances and also the stone jumping which is a tradition which sees men jump from two meter stone pillars to their destiny.
The tourism has got its negative side; tourism has resulted to cultural weakening through vandalism. A regular visitor to Lagundri in the early days of its development as a surfing tourism destination had this to say about the influence of surfing tourism in Lagundri. Surfing has certainly boosted the Lagundri economy, but I believe it has come at a whopping price…The alcoholism, gambling, crime, and on my last trip here, the small kid I taught to surf in 1981 is now a pimp for working girls on the point. I wonder if the simple life of harvesting coconuts and rice could have been a better destiny for these people (Peter Reeves quoted in Barilotti, 2002: 34). Soon after discovery of lagundri bay, surfers overwhelmed the region resulting to twist of the available natural facilities s and damaging the essential aspects that attracted the tourist, mainly the surfers. The surfing industry also endangered the socio- cultural to the bay. Lack of proper handling and uncontrolled number of tourist visiting the bay, lead to other surfers to seek other surfing areas deteriorating the growing economy (Warshaw, 2010).
Conflict may arise among the residents of lagundri bay as a result of construction of recreational facilities and hotels along the beach lines, conflict of interest may arise in the situation when the villagers may want to access the sea for their fishing purposes, and they are restricted due to trespassing orders from the private developers. The management should have developed a strategic plan that would provide long-term, sustainable economic, cultural, social welfares to locals of lagundri and exhibit guide lines that would help preserve the environment natural assets. In developing the system, they would require to incorporate proposals from nongovernmental organisations, such as, relief organizations, the government and the main stakeholders from local people as well as from the department of environment. This would have enabled the planners to develop a sustainable strategy. The developers would have enabled the local authority and the community in general to make thought out decisions on how to ensure the future of lagundri bay. The residents would feel connected and assist in implementing the strategy and the success of the project. The success is paramount; hence, the people of this community will concentrate on developing it and care for it till its maturity is realized. Being connected is the only way to communicate and address the issues surrounding them. Social reasoning is what sustains the nation and ensures that the population share ideas, actions, best decisions, and even as a source of motivation (Llc Books, 2010).
It is necessary to announce that one of the significant steps of this strategy will be the careful and ongoing consultation process with local stakeholders and members of the communities to ensure that their views are reflected in the management plan. Without their acceptance of the plan from the communities, the plan cannot be successful. The strength and success of this strategy will also be based on the communities’ empowerment of a changed perspective on how to:
a) Operate surfing tourism that will provide ongoing inflow of surf tourists for long term economic benefits and
b) Reinforce infrastructure and use natural materials in an environmentally sustainable manner which does not threaten both the uprightness of the natural environment, their natural resources and the natural environment quality of the area which is a significant benefit to attracting tourism to the area. Consequently educating, increasing the public knowledge and empowerment of the local communities to, sustainably use and manage their natural resources and tourism for the long term will be essential parts of the strategy. For example, some of the outcomes of this management system will continue to provide the tools, training, expertise and support to the local Stakeholders (including local government agencies and local communities themselves) to better manage the area.
The plan should be able to address issues on waste management, improved waste management monitors the community to prevent environmental degradation and help preserve the environment. This will improve the financial position of lagundri bay because the funds that would have been used to clean the environment would be directed elsewhere and improve the standards of living for every local resident e.g. the funds would be used to provide better medical services at subsidized costs. The plan should contain biodiversity conservation programmed. The target of lagundri bay is to accommodate more tourists, and without proper measures the coral reefs and the rain forests would be destroyed by developers who will discard sewage because of inappropriately managed sewerage systems (Lueras & Lueras, 2002).
The survival of culture of lagundri should also be integrated in the strategic plan. This plan should govern how much culture should be brought to the local residents; this will decrease the case where the indigenous cultural values are not submerged by western culture. This would be the case of unmanaged tourism. Due to the interaction between the locals and the guests, cultural values may overlap, and the results may be conflicting of interests among the local people of lagundri and the tourist. One of the main social negative impacts of tourism is the increment in crime activities. They may happen to the fact that tourists usually have lump sums of money, and they may become the primary target by the local idlers. Criminal activities come with it the use of drugs. The use of drugs will bring with it many unsocial activities. The local government should put in place appropriate measures to curb such unethical practices and to provide security to the tourist.
In conclusion, for sustainable strategic plan to work for the residents of lagundri, the objectives should be prioritizing the needs of the local residents of the bay. The local government should develop workshops for to strengthen the activities that may be interlinked with the surfing tourists, e.g. Like construction of locally made surf boards. The local council should also regulate the funds that come from the revenues collected from the tourists and using the fund to improve the tourist target sites.