Co-Creation Platform for Coastal Tourism Development: A Lesson Learned from Southern Beaches in West Java

On January 19th, Decision Making and Strategic Negotiation interest (DMSN) group of SBM ITB visited the Tourism and Culture Department to disseminate the knowledge of co-creation. This visit was inspired by a research led by Santi Novani, Ph.D and Dr. Eng. Pri Hermawan entitled Co-Creation Platform for Coastal Tourism Development: A Lesson Learned from Southern Beaches in West Java. The group had visited the department for several times for collecting data through FGD and interviews.

In this closing visit, Prof. Utomo Sarjono Putro as the head of the group officially handed the co-creation platform to the head of Tourism and Culture Department of West Java, Ida Hernida. “This is the research-based contribution that we made to West Java. Using internal data that the department has, I believe this platform can be more powerful to accommodate the needs of stakeholders in West Java tourism.”, Prof. Utomo said. A more technical coordination among the sub-ordinates is needed immediately. “We will arrange the meeting by the end of January 2018. This is a moment to bring West Java tourism to a higher level. We do not know how to thank you, but we will organize and develop the platform for sure.”, Ida replied with gratitude.

The visit symbolizes a collaborative effort to improve West Java coastal tourism, Southern beach in particular. As one of provinces with rich coastal tourism destination alternatives, West Java is far from the word “well-managed”. The beauty of Southern Beaches alongside West Java which includes Garut, Cianjur, Sukabumi, Pangandaran, and Tasikmalaya is unrevealed due to the inaccessibility of the location and the minimum public facility such as accommodation, restaurant, praying room, and even restroom. Consequently, the low number of visitors is not a surprise. The lack of synergy in the coordination among the stakeholders is indicated as one of the problem. The promotion programs executed were done in silo. Individual stakeholder merely played their own role without looking at the bigger picture. To tackle this issue, a collaborative effort from each player in tourism sector in West Java is required.

Co-creation as one of the manifestation of service system science can be adopted to breakdown the issues faced by West Java tourism. Considering it as an ecosystem, the entities needs a place to interact, to co-create. As distance is one of the major obstacles to coordinate, DMSN group proposed a co-created website to make the big movement happen. The proposal received a full support from the department. Sharing the same vision of social movement, Ida Hernida and DMSN group agreed that the website matches the needs and the characteristics of the problem they are facing. The website invites all stakeholders from local government, visitor, and local vendor to promote their first-hand experiences using the features provided: beach description, hashtags exhibition, and vendor registration. Beach description menu contains some key feature of the Southern Beaches: fishing, camping, surfing, and availability of some public facilities. Hashtags exhibition shout outs the experiences of visitors and processed using big data analysis. Vendor registration accommodates homestays and local restaurants own by local residents where the beach is located. The website as a co-created platform exposes such a unique information as the beaches are remote and accessible. However, they are worth a visit. In conclusion, the information displayed will reveal the beauty of the beach, open the access for people to discover it, and co-create to make West Java tourism a greater destination.

Author: Lidia Mayangsari, MSM