Exploring the barriers to digital marketing adoption at the rural tourism destination of Long Lamai, Sarawak

Cheuk, Sharon and Atang, Azuriaty and Lo, May Chiun and Ramayah, T. (2017) Exploring the barriers to digital marketing adoption at the rural tourism destination of Long Lamai, Sarawak. Advanced Science Letters. ISSN 1936-7317

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Rural communities have been envisaged to benefit from tourism economically and socially, and digital marketing has been noted as a low-cost and effective method to promote a tourism destination. For rural tourism, it aids to leapfrog the barriers of information transmission to the intended tourist markets. The Sarawak government’s initiative to set up the Digital Sarawak Centre of Excellence to accelerate Sarawak’s economic growth, reduce the socio-economic divide and increase youth employment, represents an opportunity for rural tourism destinations to piggyback on and profit from, especially in the areas of digital and content marketing. Long Lamai, Sarawak, is currently being developed as an eco-tourism site and has been equipped with internet service for mobile devices. However, none of the tourism service providers have adopted digital marketing of their services. The objective of this study is to examine the barriers towards digital marketing adoption by rural tourism service providers in Long Lamai, Sarawak, based on the perspective of the service providers themselves. In-depth interviews were conducted with the aid of a structured questionnaire. Fieldwork was carried out in February 2017 and a total of 12 people were interviewed. The study revealed that the Long Lamai community is largely willing to adopt digital marketing, with the assistance of outside parties in digital content creation, website design and website maintenance. However, tourism itself is largely held back by physical constraints, which in turn affects the readiness of the community to receive and entertain tourists on a large scale. The collectivist nature of the community, aimed at ensuring equal participation in economic benefits, may slow down the process of digital marketing adoption as a whole.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital marketing adoption, ICT, tourism suppliers, Malaysia, rural, community perceptions, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Economics and Business
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Faculty of Economics and Business
Depositing User: Choy Sheung
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2018 07:08
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2018 07:08
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/19011

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