By choosing the themes of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Office Consortium of Politeknik Negeri Malang-STIKI Malang-Universitas Trunojoyo Madura succeeded in winning the Grant for Strengthening Office of International Affairs Consortium (so called Bantuan Penguatan Konsorsium Kantor Urusan Internasional/PKKUI) from Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of Republic of Indonesia. The chosen SDG themes are (1) Decent work and economic growth, (2) Industry, innovation and infrastructure, and (3) Sustainable cities and communities for developing ecotourism industry in Bangkalan Regency, Madura.
The ecotourism concept combines tourism and conservation in one place. This concept contributes in educating and changing the paradigm of the visitors on preserving the environment by also considering the local people, culture and economic aspects. Unfortunately, the local people have not been prepared for managing the ecotourism industry because of many crucial reasons such as education, monitoring system, community involvement, and conservation. A good management concept, which includes branding and positioning, becomes a crucial factor in developing the area.
Thus, the grant is intended for creating an international program under the topic “Ecotourism Branding for Economic Sustainability in Bangkalan Regency: A Project-Based Learning”. This international program will invite international students from international partner universities of the 3 institutions. Through Project-Based Learning, the international students are invited to share their knowledge and experience in strengthening human resources and developing branding of Bangkalan Regency, particularly in Labuhan Village. It is expected that this program will be beneficial in marketing the local area to investors and visitors to come to Labuhan Village which has developed an ecotourism concept in their tourism industry.