All Aboard the Boat to Komodo

January 27, 2015 by | Filed Under: Authentic Experiences, Sustainability

Aini Wikamoto, the Lombok Branch Manager, has been working for Khiri Travel Indonesia since 2006. The following is her blog about helping a humble fisherman who runs boat tours to Komodo National Park.

Things to do with Ruding on deck of Fitra Mandira boat

I will share a little of my story about Ruding, a fisherman that Khiri Travel Indonesia hires for taking guests to Komodo National Park. A while back, with the help of our former general manager, Ruding bought two small deck boats called Fitra Mandira to start a charter boat business. He didn’t know much about how to run a boat tours business like this, but he wanted to build a future for himself and his family. Today, he does a good job. What is important is that he provides reliable services and our guests are satisfied.

We have been working with Ruding for a long time, I think more than eight years now. He is really easy to get along with and always agrees to everything he is asked to do. Like most Indonesian people, he always expresses how thankful he is for all the support we have given him to help him run his business. He truly wants to be of service at all times.

Boat trip at Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

I was happy to meet Ruding on my recent visit to Labuan Bajo, Flores. I was surprised to learn that he is not earning money from his two boats and he is not sure why. Basically, he told me the money we were paying him was not covering his operational costs. Since the support we were giving him didn’t stop with providing him two boats, we needed to help him calculate his costs for the services he provides to know how much he needs to earn to support his family.

things to do in Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia - take a boat trip

We had a meeting with the new manager from our other supplier who runs the bigger boats. This manager told me all the items that are the expenses for operating a boat. With this information, I then met with Ruding to learn about his expenses for every trip he makes.

We discovered that Ruding’s total operating costs per day were almost 1.4 times higher than we paid him over the last few months. Therefore, we decided to increase his payment so he can earn a decent profit per trip to cover his labor costs and boat maintenance, plus support his family.

food at the boat on the way to Komodo National Park, Indonesia

He lives in a very simple house now, but I am confident that earning a better wage will allow him to increase his savings and improve his standard of living. Of course the next time I visit Flores, I will be asking him for information to make sure his business is still going well.

If you want to book a boat tour with Ruding to the Komodo National Park, please drop us a note via the contact form below.