Tongkonan transforms into homestay for tourist destinations

Syifa, indonesia . 31 Oct 2021

Heaptalk, Jakarta — Tongkonan, the traditional house of the Toraja, has been developed for the tourism attraction. This house includes a dwelling, customary power, and the development of the socio-cultural life of the Toraja. Tongkonan architecture is acknowledged for its peculiar shape through the lower, middle and upper structures. The Tongkonan traditional house has a carving consisting of a perceptivity that symbolizes the social prestige of the Tongkonan owner occupying the upper floor. Tongkonan is no longer used as a residence due to the fact that every family of Tongkonan generally has built their own house.

Toraja Tourism Board collaborates with Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA), Indonesian Tour Guide Association (ITGA), and Tourism Awareness Community (TAC) to boost Tongkonan to turn into Homestay especially in tourism destinations. The technical guidance of Tongkonan was held offline-based on October 23rd at 08.00 – 12.00 WITA located in Sa’Pak Bayo-Bayo Tana Toraja.

“By holding this activity, it is great especially during the pandemic where there is a lack of visitors in order to make some improvements. The Technical Guidance of Tongkonan is influential for the owner of Tongkonan Homestay. This guidance is to be able to commit some advice for the homestay owners in order to enhance Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment Sustainability (CHSE) at their homestay which could be utilized during busy visits,” said Michael Andin, Manager of Sa’Pak Bayo-Bayo.

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Tongkonan Technical Guidance is carried out as an effort to preserve the Tongkonan as well as the utilization of Tongkonan society as a support for resorts in Toraja in order to assist the economic activities of the society around tourist attractions. This event was held to instruct the participants by developing The Effective Working Team, The Technique of Communication regarding the Excellent Service and Hygiene Management.

Panca R Sarungu, Head of Toraja Tourism Board said, “there are plenty of  empty tongkonan that can be used by us. By providing Homestay of Tongkonan, we could appeal to the tourists attention to be able to offer the lodging of Tongkonan,”

Furthermore, Yohanes Limbong Allolayuk, Deputy chairman of BGB IHRA North Toraja revealed, “transforming The Tongkonan to turn into a homestay need to deliberate with the entire extended family in order to avoid the problems in the future, so a special approach is required to make the entire extended family agrees that The Tongkonan is adopted as an additional source of income which has been a burden in maintaining The tongkonan. Seeing access to tourist sites near to Tongkonan residents make it a great opportunity if it operated properly,”

“When we have guests, at least we have basic English skills to make it easy to communicate with visitors. With language that is easy to understand, we can improve friendly services and unique stories about tourist attractions that make guests stay long in our area,” said John Massolo, the speaker of Indonesian Toraja Tour Guide Association. 

This enterprise is an element of the Toraja Arts Festival which was held from October 20th  – 23rd, 2021. A sequence of the events such as Visit of Ambassadors of Friendly Countries to Toraja, Toraja Youth Leadership Camp Batch 2, and Toraja Coffee Farmer Seminar.

The highlight of the Toraja Arts Festival will be held on Sunday, November 3rd 2021. Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia will attend this festival. A set of the events such as Road to ToraJAZZ, Toraja Parekraf Workers Vaccination Center and Cultural Arts and Creative Economy Performances will enliven the festival.