It is the custom of Rotokas people to ensure that our guests are well looked after and cared for. In traditional times whenever coastal dwellers navigated the Rotokas area our people made sure they were given plenty of food, a place to rest and safe guidance to their intended destination. It was not uncommon for those passing through to receive “vateara” or small gifts, such as an axe or blanket to aid them in their journey. While many of our customs are under pressure from a globalizing world, looking after and caring for our guests remains an essential part of Rotokas culture.
Similarly, the wellbeing and safety of our guests is of utmost importance to Rotokas Ecotourism. We do not think security is achieved by having guards protecting tourists from members of the community, contrary, we believe we’ll keep our guest secure by ensuring all elements within the community are happy to have tourists roaming around in their “backyard”.
We have gained community acceptance by conducting several tourism awareness workshops, training tour guides and porters from all clan groups, and ensuring benefits from tourism is distributed equally throughout the project area – further, we are 100% Rotokas owned and operated. In short, we’ve invested in preventative security practices which ensures guest to Rotokas area will experience the same warm hospitality that’s been offered for thousands of years.
Other activities we are implementing to ensure the safety and security of our guests include:
- Providing trekkers with a safety and security plan before they embark on the hike.
- Incorporating a first aid session into our tour guides training’s.
- Including a safety and security session in our tour guide & porters training’s.
- Working with landowners and Autonomous Bougainville Government in the planning and construction of evacuation helipads.
- Holding regular meetings with landowners and other stakeholders to prevent security risks.
Feel free to contact us for a detailed copy of our safety plan.