BUILDING SUSTAINIBILITY ECO TOURISM THROUGH ENVIRONMENT BASED MARKETING
This study sought to establish whether there is indeed a relationship between Environment based marketing practices and performance of ecotourism in Indonesia. The population of the study was the 15 tour and travel firms that are eco-certified. A sample of 15 ecotourism destination providers was targeted. Primary data was collected by use of a semi structured questionnaire that was administered to the marketing managers in these firms. All the respondents agreed that their firms practiced environment based marketing. The major factors influencing this decision were to comply with the existing environmental policies and for environmental conservation. The study revealed that in supporting the local communities, the tourist accommodation service providers are involved in various activities from buying products to providing various services such as education facilities and environmental conservation as well offering them employment. The study also revealed that tourist accommodation service providers engage in different practices on their products/services to enhance level of environment based marketing practices. The major practice in this regard was making sure that the product is engaging and simple. Nearly all of the respondents mentioned that there is a relationship between environment based marketing and ecotourism sector in Indonesia. From the findings, environment based marketing has many benefits to the ecotourism sector. The most notable is customer satisfaction as mentioned by majority of the respondents. The study recommends that ecotourism destination service providers in the country should continue to practice environment based marketing since it has benefits that can enhance the performance of their firms. The government of Indonesia should develop a new strategy focusing on sustainable community based ecotourism. This will ensure that the community reaps the socio and economic benefits of development and conservation. It will further boost the respect and understanding between the community, local authorities and the ecotourism destinations.