Liwetan, The Boardroom for Managing Horizontal Conflicts in Tourism Village Sustainability
In the tourism development and sustainability literature, conflicts among local communities, i.e. horizontal conflicts, about community-based tourism have been found to be detrimental to the sustainability of their village. This qualitative study aims to counter that perception. In-depth interviews were conducted with the village’s communities, including local community group members and local authorities. The findings revealed that the ‘responsible manner of local communities’ is the best practice to mitigate horizontal conflicts. Specifically, we discovered that local community groups in the tourism village are aware that their collaborations may potentially lead to conflicts; therefore, they preemptively prepared themselves with a platform that enables them to discuss intrapersonal, intragroup, and intergroup matters in a manner that avoids and minimizes horizontal conflicts. This platform emerged through their ancestral tradition called liwetan. Although liwetan is not a new concept, using it in the management of tourism villages is not a common practice. We thus suggest that the approach discussed in this study be replicated and applied in other tourism villages all over Indonesia, given that the liwetan tradition can be found in many villages, albeit with different names.
Keywords: tourism village; sustainability; horizontal conflicts; liwetan; local tradition