Instagramable Tourism and Architectural Reproducibility in Indonesia

Instagramable Tourism and Architectural Reproducibility in Indonesia

Ofita Purwani (Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia), Alvin Try Dandy (Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia), Ana Hardiana (Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia), and Adi Utomo Hatmoko (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5119-9.ch004
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Instagramable tourism flourished in Indonesia in the last five years. This rapid spread is identified with the destinations practicing architectural replication and illusion. This chapter aims to explore 1) the architectural practices involved in Instagramable architecture in Indonesia, 2) to what extent architectural practices are reproduced in Instagramable tourism, 3) how they relate to the social media and the Instagram users' characteristics. The authors explore the Instagramable tourist destinations popularised through Instagram in the last five years by mapping and categorizing them. They then go deeper into each category to see how architectural reproducibility happens in Instagramable tourism. The result shows that the Instagramable tourist destinations in Indonesia use a similar method which is copying previous architectural practices to some degree. The mechanism of the spread of architectural practices in Instagramable tourism is unique to today's culture, with the social media and ‘wallpaper culture'.
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Tourism development cannot be separated from the advancement of technology. The development of cameras and smartphones has encouraged people to take photos during visits to their chosen destinations and, as a result, has changed tourists’ behaviour (Book, 2003; Feighery, 2009; Garlick, 2002; Garrod, 2009; Picard & Robinson, 2016). The way tourists see the destination changes because of the roles played by cameras and smartphones (Crawshaw & Urry, 2002). The development of the internet and social media has changed, and is continuing to change, what drives tourists and tourism. In this age of social media, not only do people take photos during visits to their tourist destinations, but also they share those photos on social media; a behavior which creates a different phenomenon in tourism. It is reasonable to conclude that the sharing of destination photos via smartphone networks, is the normal part of tourism these days (Latorre-Martínez et al., 2014; Lee et al., 2015; Walsh et al., 2019).

The touristic behaviour mentioned above is widely used for marketing purposes. Destination marketing, which previously was organized by destination marketing organizations (DMOs) (King, 2002; Pike, 2007; Popesku, 2014) is now replaced by user generated content (UGC) marketing by tourists (Chen & Scovino, 2020; Wacker & Groth, 2020) who act, perhaps unknowingly, as ‘micro celebrities’ (Chen et al., 2021; Marwick, 2018; Mohamad, 2021; Page, 2012;Khamis et al., 2017; Wacker & Groth, 2020). When it comes to tourist destination choices, these small-scale grass-root celebrities are considered the most effective type of marketing today. Online images are very important for destination marketing, as they fit the current lifestyle where people only have a short period to process the information (Chen & Scovino, 2020). As we all know, a picture can deliver a thousand words, and so it is currently accepted that images can deliver information most efficiently via the use of online media. In this case, online images about destinations posted by tourists or grass-root influencers are very important for destination marketing today. The expectation is that after seeing the online images of someone in one destination, people will want to visit that destination, which means replicating the visit.

A similar role of images can also be found in the case of influential online architecture (IOA), where architectural images found online on popular websites are perceived as sufficiently powerful to influence the next practices of architecture (Zhao, 2020). This IOA phenomenon also happens in architecture for tourism, where world popular heritage objects are being replicated in many places as tourist destinations, in what has been named as ‘copysites’ (Yousaf & Fan, 2020;Bernhard & Duccio, 2019). The popular images of tourist destinations that involve architecture can therefore influence the next architectural practices in tourist destinations. At the same time, those images can also act as a means for destination marketing in tourism.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Copysite: Replicas of places, buildings, and sites that attract tourists who are interested in heritage buildings and leisure.

Aestheticization: The action in making something visually pleasing as the main goal of the action.

Authenticity: The quality of being authentic. In tourism studies there are several types of authenticity which still attract some debates.

Micro-Celebrities: ordinary people who amp up to gain popularity over the internet by using technology such as video, blogs, and social media.

Reproducibility: The ability to be reproduced.

Wallpaper Culture: A term used by Rattenbury to refer to an exclusive culture that belongs to the have with strong orientation towards the fictive and imaginary. The people of this culture live in an aesthetic cocoon which is detached from the context or the harsh reality.

Viral: The state of being spread rapidly on the internet.

Instagramable: This term is popularized by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism. It refers to the state of being fit to be framed into Instagram images or posts, and being able to gain many likes on Instagram.

Performative Authenticity: A type of authenticity that can be gained through performance. The subject has to perform to find the authentic self.

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