Barriers to digital marketing adoption at remote rural tourism destinations in Sarawak: an exploratory study

Cheuk, Sharon and Atang, Azuriaty and Lo, May Chiun and Ramayah, T. (2017) Barriers to digital marketing adoption at remote rural tourism destinations in Sarawak: an exploratory study. Advanced Science Letters. ISSN 1936-7317

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Rural tourism has been shown to benefit local communities from the economic perspective. Digital marketing allows marketing information to be transmitted directly to potential visitors without the need for an intermediary, in a low-cost but effective way. Rural tourism destinations in Sarawak now have an opportunity to benefit from the Sarawak state government’s initiative, the Digital Sarawak Centre of Excellence, in terms of digital content creation and website maintenance. However, the current level of adoption is zero to minimal in rural tourism destinations. This study examines the barriers towards digital marketing adoption from the perspective of rural tourism providers. Fieldwork was performed at two sites, Ba’kelalan and Long Lamai, in July 2016 and February 2017 respectively. In-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 19 respondents. The study revealed that tourism providers currently depended on word-of-mouth recommendations or direct contact for bookings, but were willing to adopt digital marketing with the assistance of knowledgeable parties. However, certain physical, logistical and social constraints may have a detrimental effect on the community’s readiness level to entertain tourists on a larger scale and may further impede the overall progress of digital marketing adoption, at both the individual and destination levels.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital marketing adoption; Tourism Service Providers; Rural Tourism, 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 07:12
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2018 07:13

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