From the outset, building and operating Nikoi along strict sustainable principles has been at the forefront of the development plans for the island.
Not only was Nikoi built and is operated using local materials, labour and services but the owners have taken this one step further and taught many of their contractors and staff new trades and techniques. This not only makes operational sense but it also means that in the long run there is a mutual respect with the local community and the staff and tradesman take greater pride in their work. In terms of supplies Nikoi buys almost 100% of their supplies in local markets and from small traders. This means Nikoi is able to obtain the freshest ingredients which whilst they might not be certified as organic it is known to have been organically farmed.
All of the staff working for Nikoi except for the General Manager and our Marine Conservation Officer are Indonesian. Many started working with Nikoi during the construction phase and have gone on to learn new skills that have allowed them to work in front of house roles. As a result of this Nikoi has a very high staff retention and loyalty.
One key aspect to our engagement with the local community was to establish The Island Foundation that works with the local community on Bintan and neighbouring islands to help them to help themselves. Initially the focus of the Foundation’s efforts has been to establish a network of libraries so that the local children can learn English and IT. This was identified as one of the most pressing needs based on numerous meetings with village leaders. Since establishing the first library the Foundation has been approached by other villages to help establish more libraries. In many ways these libraries are becoming like community centers as the programs being run have expanded to teach adults English and IT.
The Foundation’s education programs are designed to supplement their local school education and the focus on English and IT is so that they will have opportunities to benefit from the growing tourism industry in the area.
The Foundation is registered as a charity in both Singapore and Indonesia. A full time independent CEO has been appointed to run it.
An important aspect to Nikoi’s approach to responsible tourism has been to ensure that we not only help protect the environment but where possible help to restore it. An important task in protecting the environment is to educate both Nikoi’s guests and the local population. In terms of educating guests this is done through the Nikoi website, Facebook page, room literature and nature walks around the island. The process of educating the locals on the environment is one of the roles of the Foundation and our Marine Conservation Officer.
Nikoi is a Long Run Alliance Member (LRAM). This means that we directly manage or significantly influence the management of a natural area of conservation value with defined geographical boundaries, have signed The Long Run Charter and are committed to achieving sustainability through a holistic balance of the 4Cs: conservation, community, culture and commerce.
Being part of the Long Run Initiative we apply The Long Run approach to life of acting today for a better tomorrow and aspire to become Global Ecosphere Retreats® certified Long Run Destinations, actively demonstrating innovative approaches to sustainable business and providing practical examples of sustainability in action. The Long Run Initiative is the flagship programme of the Zeitz Foundation.
Nikoi has a Responsible Tourism Policy which is reviewed and updated annually – here is a link to the most recent version of that document.
If you are interested in finding out more about our programs or would like to help out then please do get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com.