The touristic place is created through a social and cultural process involving several tourism elements, such as tourist (Preston-Whyte, 2004; Kyle & Chick, 2007), local people (Campelo, Aitken, Thyne, & Gnoth, 2014), tourist and local people (Ellison, 2013), tourist and tourism industry (Young, 1999), foreign tourist and government (Erb, 1998).
Meanwhile, media and communication play a role in the creation of space (Jansson, 2007), particularly touristic place/space (Urry, 2002). In line with this, guided by the postcolonialism framework, some previous studies demonstrate that tourism marketing content produced by tourism media represents third-world tourism (Nelson, 2005; Brito-Henriques, 2014; Echtner, 2002; Echtner & Prasad, 2003; Chang & Holt, 1991; Buzinde & Smith, 2006; Bhattacharyya, 1997). The different depictions of some tourism elements (nature, tourist, and host) in various dimensions are indicated by those studies to emphasize the binary position between the West and the rest (non-west).
Mainly, Echtner (2002) develops three categories of third world destinations represented by touristic media: oriental, sea-sand, and frontier destination. Then, the study of Echtner and Prasad (2003) demonstrates that different myths are attached to each category as the character of those destinations: unchanged myth-oriental destination, unrestrained myth-sea-sand destination, and uncivilized-frontier destination.
Bali Island is a part of Indonesia territory and is globally known as the island destination. Several kinds of destination are offered for the tourist, for instance: beaches, mountains, history or culture. The global travelers place the island as the best destination in Asia and the fourth-best destination in the world (Tripadvisor, 2020).
Recently, various platforms of social media are used by a marketing agency to engage with their customers (tourists) by creating two kinds of content: storytelling and content calling their user into action (Minazzi, 2015). At the same time, by creating these content, mainly content calling to action, social media become a space through which two different actors: tourism agency and tourist meet to contest and negotiate the meaning of touristic place. Responding to such content, tourist shares their story narrated through text and photo regarding their tourism experience to the account of tourism organization directly or by tagging particular contents with the other users, including tourism organization. Consequently, the user-generated content is circulated in the account of tourism organizations and easily accessed by other users. At the same, the idea of tourism organization and tourist are manifested in online content circulated in the official account of tourism organization.
However, the gap is still left by the existing literature, as the minimal study highlighted the online content of the official Instagram account of tourism organizations to deal with the issue of third-world tourism place representation, whereas social media, mainly Instagram, is distinct in terms of their content production. As presented earlier, to engage with the customer, the marketing agency use social media to post promotional they produce as well as other content created and shared by their customers. By this, the marketing content of the social media may represent the meanings negotiated by two elements (marketer and customer/tourist).
Indeed, Smith (2018) found three motifs of colonial narratives on Instagram. However, this study data is limited and also taken from some accounts determined by considering their number of followers. Consequently, the study result does not reflect the idea of touristic representation derived from specific tourism organization and their customers (tourists).
Meanwhile, the significance of photos in the formation of destination image (Jenkins, 2003; Stepchenkova & Zhan, 2013; Lian & Yu, 2017), halal destination image (Taufiqqurrachman, 2020) as well as promotion of human value (Taufiqqurrachman, 2019) is well documented.
To fill the gap in the existing literature, the study examines all photos and their captions posted in the official Instagram account of Indonesia tourism ministry for Bali representation as a place of third-world tourism within the framework of Said’s orientalism. Two dimensions of depiction are highlighted in the study: destination attraction, people (tourist and host) in terms of their physical role, and clothing.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Touristic Representation of Place
The place is the subject of geography study consisted of three elements: physical setting, activities, and meanings (Relph, 1976). Meanwhile, Canter (1977) attributed similar three components to the concept of place: actions, conception, and physical attributes.
Additionally, two aspects of the place are conceptualized by Cresswell & Hoskins (2008) (tangible and intangible form). Further, the author explains that tangible form refers to the material dimension of place as well as intangible is constructionist and phenomenological levels of the place. Devine-Wright & Lyons (1997) likely emphasized the notion of place in intangible dimension, as he defines place as repositories of specific meanings, memories, values, and emotions which are shared by members of a particular group.
Gnoth (2013) confirms that definition by arguing that meaning is the essence of the place. By comparing space and place, he adds in this level place is constructed within people’s interaction with space. Through the interaction, space is turned into place as indicated by carrying out the various activities.
Indeed, the place is a concept of human geography study but intersect with tourism, as tourism activities involve the creation process of place meaning. It is as shown by some previous studies. Preston-Whyte (2004) presents that tourists constructed beach as liminal space within the framework of the spatialization of British culture. A similar finding is shown by Kyle and Chick (2007) in which place meanings of the agricultural fair in rural Pennsylvania are created by tourists; then, those created meanings are shared with their families and close friends.
Meanwhile, local people are another actor that takes part in tourism place creation (Campelo et al., 2014). The study demonstrates various meanings were attached by local people to the Chatham Island in New Zealand as identified through four constructs of time, ancestry, landscape, and community.
Ellison (2013) viewed that different groups within society produce different meanings of tourism place. The study addressing the issue of touristic representation in the context of Australian beaches shows local people construct the beaches as lived space. On the other hand, tourists create them as a setting for an egalitarian society. Besides, some other beach representations are uncovered (the natural and physical beauty; the badland associated with disrupted myth, fear, danger, and violence; and the urban/natural hybrid).
Whereas, some studies point out that different actors not only create different meanings but also result in contestation and negotiation in the process of touristic place production (Young, 1999; Erb, 1998). Particularly, Young (1999) found the process of meaning creation in the context of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation area, Far North Queensland, Australia involve tourist and tourism industry. The study presented the tourism industry to create that place to attract tourists, rather than to provide a realistic portrayal of the place. Then the meanings were consumed by tourists in order to attain an understanding of the tourism place. Whereas, the work of Erb (1998) indicated that foreign tourists and state/government were contested to construct the authenticity of local culture attached to Manggarian traditional houses, local heritage of cultural group in Indonesia.
2.2. Representation of Third-World Tourism (Place) in Tourism Media
The representation of third-world tourism is an issue highlighted in the postcolonialism studies, and Said’s orientalism is a theory that influences this field of study. By the theory, Said (1979) classifies the world into two categories: the Orient and the Occident. This scholar confirmed that these both categories are the imaginative geography created by western intellectuals through which colonial discourse is operated to reinforce the west’s superiority, subjugation, domination over their post-colonialized countries.
Through that discourse, he further discloses the orient is stereotyped with various negative characters, such as primitive, emotional, natural, feminine, coloured, barbaric, etc.; conversely, the positive was attached to the occident, such as modern, rational, cultivated, powerful/masculine, civilized, etc.
Concurrently, Hall (1997) views media as an agent of meaning production through representation. The author defines the media representation itself as a process by which the media produced their content using cultural codes to construct and communicate meanings. Then, Jansson (2007) relates communication or media to human geography when addressing the issues of space/place construction. Likewise, Urry (2002), by his tourist gaze theory, argued that the media is particularly a matter in a tourism space construction. He described that the tourist gaze is constructed by non-touristic practices, such as film, TV, literature, magazines, records, and videos.
Some previous studies examined some tourism media content to address the issue of third-world tourism representation. Nelson (2005) collected and analyzed various content derived from Grenada’s tourism promotion media to investigate how the process of other takes place within the context of Grenada’s tourism promotion. Some ideas of binary position between the West and The Non-West are shown by the study, such as active-passive, natural-artificial, and exotic-familiar.
Work of Brito-Henriques (2014) demonstrated myth of a natural world, savage and brutal, seductive, and voluptuous are attached to Sub-Saharan Africa by a Portuguese travel photo-magazine—the Blue Travel magazine. Other findings of the study also show some the idea of a binary position between the black and white people are reinforced and perpetuated by some photos. The black is constructed as a server as they depicted wearing the uniform, while the white as a tourist by depicting them in the casual and swimsuits. Additionally, a physically passive activity is more associated with white people, while physically active activities are attributed to black people. Likewise, black people more frequently portrayed as a visual object of consumption.
Echtner (2002) analysed the visual and textual content of 115 brochures promoting destinations of 12 third-world countries. By highlighting four dimensions of postcolonial representation (conceptualized as the 4 “A” approach: Attraction, Actor, Action, and Atmosphere), the study cluster these 12 countries into three groups: oriental, sea-sand and frontier. Then the three “UN” myth was associated with each of the groups by Echtner and Prasad (2003).
First, the unchanged (oriental cluster) is found mostly in the brochures advertising Asian and North African destinations. Some attributes are depicted prominently for strengthening that myth, for instance, building characterized as extravagant and exotic, surrounded by mysterious legends. Besides, the local people characterized by their enduring peasant simplicity portrayed dominantly. The myth of the unchanged places the West and the Rest into changed-unchanged, modern-ancient, and advancing-decaying relationship.
Second, the myth of the unrestrained (sea-sand) is found primarily in brochures advertising island destinations. The brochures depict the destination as lush natural paradises as well as sensuous, exotic, and entertaining people that cater to every tourist need. The idea of a master and servant relationship is represented in order to strengthen this myth category (p. 674). Besides, other colonial binaries are reinforced, including advancing/stagnant, industrialized/underdeveloped, disciplined/unrestrained.
Finally, the myth of the uncivilized (frontier) is expressed in brochures for Central American and sub-Saharan African destinations. The destination is presented as exotic, primordial, and untamed, awaiting “discovery” by Western tourists. Thus, the binaries of advanced-primitive, civilized-uncivilized, controlled-untamed, and self-reliant-dependent are reinforced by the last myth category.
Geographically, Bali Island is located in Indonesia. Precisely, the island occupies the eastern part of Java Island. Bali, also called the island of God, is a well-known island destination among global tourists. A survey conducted in 2020 by Tripadvisor placed the island as the first-best destination in Asia and the forth-best destination in the world (Tripadvisor, 2020). The study was dealing with the issue of third-world tourism representation within the context of Bali tourism by analyzing the marketing content of Bali’s destinations on Instagram.
A study focusing on the Instagram to deal with that issue is significant, since some previous studies still highlighted the conventional touristic media, for instance: tourism brochures (Echtner, 2002; Buzinde & Smith, 2006), travel magazine (Brito-Henriques, 2014), guidebook (Bhattacharyya, 1997), travel kit and travel guide (Chang & Holt, 1991).
Whereas, the tourism marketing agency adopt several platforms of social media to boost their marketing efforts (Schmallegger & Carson, 2008), including Instagram (Miles, 2014). In particular, Instagram is believed as a marketing instrument for a company to engage with their customer through the use of pictures (Serafinelli, 2018), as customer engagement is vital in marketing for increasing the commitment, satisfaction, and loyalty of customers and brands (Wirtz, den-Ambtman, Bloemer, Horvath, Ramaseshan, van de Klundert, Gurhan & Kandampully, 2013). Two kinds of contents are created by the use of social media: storytelling and any content calling the users into actions (Minazzi, 2015).
Meanwhile, the online content of social media is distinct from that of other media, mainly conventional media. The content of social media is produced by both travel companies and their customers/tourists. Since the company creates content calling their users into action, then the tourist responds it by sharing their touristic experience documented through photos and text. Such a model of content production implies that social media is space where two different groups (company and tourist) take apart and negotiate in creating the meaning of tourism place. While the negotiation successfully creates an agreement regarding a specific meaning, accordingly, the shared content would be posted on the social media account of the travel company.
The government is an actor of city branding, including tourism branding (Kavaratzis & Ashworth, 2005). The government of several countries operates an internet portal by using the “country name-dot-com” domain for online tourism marketing (Gertner, Berger, & Gertner, 2007). Also, the Indonesian government adopts web marketing, including Instagram, for Bali destination marketing.
At the same time, a large number of visual contents are circulated by the tourism agency marketing, as they are vital in the tourism marketing, mainly formation of destination image (Jenkins, 2003; Stepchenkova & Zhan, 2013; Lian & Yu, 2017), including a halal image of destination (Taufiqqurrachman, 2020) as well as the promotion of human value promotion (Taufiqqurrachman, 2019). The study collected and analyzed all relevant photos as well as their captions posted in the official Instagram account of the Indonesian government to identify how they represent the Bali Island as the third-world destination.
Various platforms of social media are used by the Indonesia Government to market the Indonesia destination, including Bali’s destination, such as Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter. Instagram was selected as the data source of the study because this platform provided adequate visual contents of destination marketing as the primary data for the study. Indeed, Instagram is featured with some tolls for visual content sharing (Minazzi, 2015). These features are used by a tourism marketing agency to project the destination image, as indicated by the work of Bernkopf and Nixon (2019).
The process of data collection took place within approximately one month, from 15 September until 23 October 2019. Then, any content posted after the end of the duration of data collection time was not covered by the study. Each photo was screenshotted one by one from the official Instagram for data collection. Then all collected photos were selected to examine its relevance to the issue highlighted by the study, third-world tourism representation. A number of selected photos that reach 199 units were listed into a table of data.
Qualitative Content analysis was applied to analyze these data. The analysis method successfully identified several dimensions of third-world representation within both visual and textual content of several forms of tourism media (Chang & Holt, 1991; Echtner, 2002; Buzinde & Smith, 2006; Brito-Henriques, 2014).
Qualitative content analysis is a research method for the subjective interpretation of the content of text data through the systematic classification process of coding and identifying themes or patterns (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005: p. 1278). For data interpretation, the study developed two theoretical frameworks as a guideline for conducting the process of coding. These frameworks were in line with the two dimensions of third-world tourism representation highlighted in the study: destination and people role.
Three themes of destinations (landscape, culture, and service) developed by Dilley (1986) were applied to examine the differences in destination portrayal in the selected data. First, the theme of landscape encompassed coastal, mountain, pleasant farm-scapes and pastures, cityscapes, and flora and fauna (unique or attractive animals, birds, flowers, and trees). Second, the theme of culture cover local history, art, and architecture, remains of earlier civilizations, old buildings, castles, museums, and art galleries, local economic life, and cultural performance/entertainment. Finally, the service theme consisted of accommodation, restaurant, food, market, and shopping center (Dilley, 1986: pp. 60-61).
Furthermore, the dimension of people’s role was measured by two indicators (physical active/passive activity and clothing). These indicators were applied by Buzinde & Smith (2006) and Brito-Henriques (2014) when dealing with the relevant issue to this study and successfully uncovered the idea of a master-servant relationship manifested within the tourism media content. Three coding categories (passive, active, and posing) applied by Buzinde & Smith (2006) to analyze the differences in people’s role depiction in the selected data were followed. Meanwhile, to analyze the differences between the tourist and the host in terms of their clothing, any image that depicts people’s clothes is recorded and classified.
The content analysis applied in the study was aimed at analyzing visual and photo captions posted in the selected official Instagram account. For the photography analysis, Jenkins (2003) explained content analysis could be used to measure various element depiction emerge in the photo, such as particular subject, the dominant colors and compositions, the distribution of particular poses or landscapes, and clusters of particular photographic technique. Visual analysis in the study was focused on analyzing the subject of destination and people depicted in the data in terms of their actions and clothing.
Subsequently, for the textual analysis, some parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, and adverb) may be used as the unit of analysis to obtain the full description of postcolonialism generated by textual content of travel brochures (Echtner, 2002). Nouns and verbs were determined as the unit analysis since the study highlighted the dimension of people’s role by which two indicators were measured: physical attitude and clothing. The physical role of tourist and host referred to their action depiction in the specific destination conveyed through “verb”. While clothing was illustrated by a noun which refers to the kind of clothes worn by both tourists and hosts.
In the study context, individual pictures and captions were coded more than once, as some visual elements (categories) circulated within them. For instance, as presented in Figure 1, these photos depict the image of tourist and a particular theme of destination. Also, some visual elements highlighted by the study were depicted, such as the tourist’s action in terms of active, passive, and posing as well as in terms of clothing.
4. Study Result
Table 1 showed that the theme of landscape is more emphasized than two other themes: culture and service. It is not only indicated by prominent occurrences of some categories of the landscape but also more categories attributed to that theme (14 categories). Among those categories, the beach is the most prominent, as this category reaches the highest occurrence number (63 times), then followed by coastal (21 times). Conversely, underwater is the less emphasized category, since it only appears two times.
At the same time, various categories of culture themes were promoted, and the temple showed the most emphasized category as indicated by the highest frequency number of occurrence (36 times) in the data, followed by cultural festival/performance (29 times). While the statue reached the lowest frequency
Figure 1. Some visual elements are portrayed by some pictures: tourist, tourist’s activity and clothes, and a particular theme of destination.
Table 1. Content analysis of photographs in the official Instagram account of Indonesia tourism ministry: Appearance frequency of particular theme of depictions.
number (one time). Some prominent destination categories depicted in the data are presented in Figure 2.
Finally, indeed some categories of service themes occurred in the data; however, commonly, the agency did not emphasize them, as their occurrence number is low. Golf course and swimming pool that are the most prominent categories of that theme only appeared six times, while some other categories (beach club, dining table, Spa) only one time.
Table 2 presented that the host is associated with some dominant physical active activities conveyed in textual and visual content. However, most of them are depicted in the visual form. “Perform” is the most prominent active activity of the host. While the category appears 18 times in the data, some other host activities did not show a significant frequency number of appearances.
Only one category of passive physical activity was attributed to the host (pray), whereas no photo depicted the host posing in front of the camera. Meanwhile, in terms of clothing, the host was mostly portrayed in ethnic dress, dance/ritual custom, and uniform. Likewise, the physical activity of tourists was depicted in textual and visual, however mostly in visual content.
As shown in Table 3, various categories of active and passive activities attributed to tourists. However, the tourist in their physical passive was more emphasized in the selected photo. Since this theme of tourist activity had more categories than that of another one, additionally, some categories of that theme appeared prominently in the data, mainly “see, enjoy, and walk”. On the contrary,
Figure 2. Dominant destination categories depicted prominently: (landscape theme: beach (pict.1) and costal (pict.2); Culture theme: temple (pict.3) and cultural performance (pict.4); service theme: golf course (pict.5), and swimming pool (pict.6).
Table 2. Appearance frequency of the host depiction in terms of physical role and clothing.
Table 3. Appearance frequency of the tourist depiction in terms of physical role and clothing.
some categories of physically active, such as “exercise”, “surf”, and “learn Bali dance” only appeared one time while “play” (the most emphasized category of this theme) appeared seven times.
5. Discussion and Conclusion
By applying three themes of image (culture, landscape, and service) developed by Dilley (1986), the study found that the public tourism agency emphasized the landscape more than two other themes since some categories of that theme occurred remarkably in its promotional content. Besides, more categories of the landscape are promoted by the agency than those of other themes.
Conversely, the theme of service is likely un-emphasized. Indeed, as presented in Table 1, the agency promoted various categories of that theme; however, their frequency occurrence is less remarkable, whereas, some categories of culture theme appeared dominantly, mainly temple and cultural festival/performance. However, their frequency occurrence is still lower than those of the beach, a category of the landscape.
Meanwhile, the differences of depiction between the tourist and host are demonstrated by the data in terms of their physical role (active, passive, posing) and clothing. The host is more portrayed in active physical activity; and in dance/ritual costume, uniform, and ethnic dress. On the contrary, tourist is more depicted in passive activity; and in casual, swimwear, bikini, and sportswear. Additionally, few other photographs depict tourists in ethnic dress and sarong Bali (a traditional Balinese people wore for conducting their ritual). Some pictures depicting the differences of the role and between tourists and hosts as shown by their actions and clothes are presented in Figure 3.
Figure 3. “Service” is an active act clearly attributed to the host wearing his uniform by picture (1), while “perform” is another active act represented to the host wearing their dance costume (picture 1). Whereas, passive acts (“seat”, “enjoy”, “walk”, and “see”) that closely mean indulging or relaxing are associated with the tourist wearing their casuals (picture 3 and 4).
These study findings support some previous studies dealing with the similar issue represented in the tourism media through which the natural attraction of third-world tourism landscape is depicted; as well as the host and tourist are presented differently in terms of the physical role and clothing (Nelson, 2005; Buzinde & Smith, 2006; Brito-Henriques, 2014).
Also, by following the three categories of the content of third-world tourism marketing developed by Echtner (2002) (frontier, sea-sand, and oriental) (11), the study findings imply that Bali tourism is more represented as a sea-sand destination. The author explained that the category of third-world tourism representation is indicated by the prominent theme of natural attraction and resort in the content of marketing destination (Echtner, 2002).
As shown by Table 1, the various natural attraction of Bali island was promoted prominently, such as beach, mountain, sunset, waterfall, rice field which are some other categories of the landscape. Mainly, the beach is the most prominent category, as its frequency number is higher than other categories that appeared in the data.
Concurrently, the study finding also presented that temple, one category of culture. Referring to two categories of attraction (natural and human-made attraction conceptualized by Echtner (2002), the temple falls into the category of human-made attraction. The author said tourism media portray this category in order to represent the myth of oriental. Therefore, the overlapped representation of Bali tourism between sea-sand and oriental is produced by the public agency (Indonesia tourism ministry).
Besides, Echtner and Prasad (2003) associated the sea-sand destination with the myth of unrestrained, while contextualizing this representation category into Said’s orientalism theory. Further, the author explained that to strengthen that myth; the travel brochures construct the tourism place for tourists indulgent by which three elements of the image (nature, host, and tourist) are created with their typical characters: the pristine, and soft nature, friendly local people and serving host, tourist described as sunseeker, lovers and sport persons.
The study findings support the study of Echtner and Prasad (2003) associating the sea—sand destination with the unrestrained myth through three dimensions of representation (nature, host, and tourist). First, as presented earlier, Bali Island is represented as the sea-sand destination, since the landscape theme is portrayed prominently in the data. Second, the host is positioned as a servant and entertainer for tourists. It reinforced by depicting them in their active physical role aimed at catering the tourist’s needs, such as serve food, paddle traditional boats for the tourist, perform a traditional dance to entertain the tourist. Also, the host wearing a uniform is depicted to assert their position as a servant.
Third, some passive physical activities are attributed to the tourist by depicting them doing some action to enjoy the beauty of Bali nature, such as see, enjoy, walk, indulge, have a dinner, seat, sunbathe and etc. Also, seen in the perspective of postcolonialism, these study findings uncover some idea of binary positions, for instance, industrialized/undeveloped, disciplined/unrestrained, and master/servant as verified by some other previous studies (Echtner & Prasad, 2003; Nelson, 2005; Buzinde & Smith, 2006; Brito-Henriques, 2014).
As the place is understood as respiratory of meaning created by different actors; and social media is a space where various actors contest and negotiate in the process of place meaning production, the study by analyzing the promotional materials of destination posted in official Instagram account of public tourism agency indicated that the public agency and tourist collectively agreed to
Figure 4. Picture 1, 2, and 3 are some local women depictions as well as picture 4, 5, 6 are some couple tourist depictions.
represent Bali Island as a sea-sand destination on which some elements of “unrestrained myth” are attached to it.
Meanwhile, as Hinch and Butler (2007) stated that the media also play a role in the marketing of indigenous tourism product through the creation of the projected image of the destination, accordingly, the emergence of several cultural categories predominantly in the data, such as temple, festival, and cultural performance raise an issue that relates tourism indigenization and the media within a context of tourism marketing.
The portrayal of females as indicated by Figure 4, mainly female hosts prominently and women and men in the data, also raise the issue of gender. In line with this, a study of Sirakaya and Sonmez (2000) indicated that women are depicted stereotypically in subordinate, submissive, and dependent poses. He urged in the context of the power relationship between men and women; these depictions are created to assert that women are powerless and under men’ domination. Likewise, Bhattacharyya (1997) found women are positioned as the object of sex and object of being seen by western discourse manifested in a guidebook of India tourism published by the lonely planet. Therefore, future research is recommended to deal with the issue to gain a deep understanding of the differences of gender represented by tourism media within the context of Bali tourism.
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