Monkeys are known as primates which are commonly explored in the biological and health sciences for conservation purposes. In the context of tourism, monkeys generally inhabit a tourism spot.
“The monkeys at Wendit Tourism, Malang Regency have become an interesting phenomenon to be studied not in the context of conservation, but in the context of developing cultural tourism,” said Dr. Hipolitus Kristoforus Kewuel, a lecturer of Faculty of Cultural Studies (FCS) Universitas Brawijaya (UB).
“Based on the results of field studies, the monkeys in this place store various stories that can be processed into cultural tourism content. For example, stories about the origin of monkeys, stories about monkey populations that are kept under control, and stories about monkey life cycles. Society experienced and witnessed the birth of thousands of monkeys, but they never experienced or witnessed those monkeys’ death. This is a phenomenon that may only be understood culturally,” he added.
According to Dr. Hipo, this takes a long time to process. Several stages are needed after this research. First, the stage of conducting a narration of all field information about various information related to the monkeys’ life. Second, the stage of discussion and publication of all the narratives that have been collected. Third, the consolidation stage with all stakeholders (society and government) to accommodate these stories as tourism media.
“It would be better if the community around Wendit would write those stories about monkeys. After that, we need to process these writings for publication. The end of this process is a cross-sectorial discussion to see the possibility of realigning tourist destination packages in this place,” he explained.
“So far, tourists just come with the sole purpose of water tourism. The encounter with the monkeys just became an inevitable event. I think monkeys as tourism assets need to be intervened so that in the future they can make a special contribution to this tourist spot,” said Dr. Hipo. [DTS]