Starting next year, hikers planning to visit Mount Ijen, which sits within Banyuwangi and Bondowoso regencies in East Java, will be able to purchase entrance tickets online.
Sumpena, of the East Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency’s (BKSDA) region V, told kompas.com on Dec. 4 that the new service aimed to make it easier for people to plan hikes and monitor the number of climbers.
“The cap on visitors will be under 1,000 hikers per day; the details are still being discussed. However, tickets will be available for purchase online starting 2019 through online travel agents,” said Sumpena.
As part of a trial phase, 100 tickets will still be available for purchase offline in Paltuding.
“Similar to train tickets; if today the tickets are sold out, visitors will have to buy for another day. Hikers are also encouraged to better prepare; they can’t just visit and abruptly decide to climb the mountain. It’s dangerous,” he added.
Additionally, starting 2019, hiking activities on Mt. Ijen will be closed the first Friday of every month. This move aims to allow “nature to rest.”
Sumpena adds that he expects the closure day to be used by communities or the public to clean the area or other eco-friendly activities.
“The closure will only be one day per month. Nature also needs a break since every night [the mountain] welcomes hundreds of hikers, especially during holidays, when more than 2,000 people may visit,” said Sumpena.