The role of participation in memorable tourism experience: a comparative case of cap go meh festival and linggarjati festival in Indonesia

Agus W Soehadi, Eka Ardianto


Purpose –Authors argue that there is an interesting phenomena of visitors’ participation in Memorable Tourism Experience (MTE) specially in festival. It seems that the festival can significantly give more opportunity for the visitors to participate in MTE. Pine and Gilmore (1998) argued that participation enriches the visitors’ experience. Moreover, Barnes et al. (2016) suggested that long term remembered experiences have the strongest impact on revisit intentions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of participation in creating memorable tourism experience in Cap Go Meh festival and Linggarjati festival in order to create loyal visitor.

Design/methodology/approach – The methodology started with instrument development. The items were developed by referring the works of Crompton and McKay’s (1997). They proposed six dimension of visitors’ motives to visit festival. Apart from that, we did some observation and interviews both practitioners and academicians to enrich the instrument. The refining process commenced with the pilot test to test of the items. This procedure was to ensure the validity and reliability of the questionnaire. Pilot test conducted on 30 marketing undergraduate students at Universitas Prasetiya Mulya, Indonesia. Then, authors conducted a review of the result. The word sequence was changed as a result of the input of the respondents on the pilot test of the initial questionnaire. The self-complete questionnaire was designed for both of Cap Go Meh and Linggarjati festival. Authors used a questionnaire instrument consisting of 42 questions on 5-point Likert-type scales of one to five range (1 = strongly disagree up to 5= strongly agree). Respondents were asked to rate their level of agreement/disagreement at that range. Data were gained by giving a questionnaire to festival visitor after the events.

Conceptual development – Authors argue, from the previous studies, that there is still the gap towards the role of participation in memorable tourism experience remain. Authors proposed a conceptual framework that represents the relationships between motives, experience, memory vividness, and loyalty. To test the model, data were collected from direct surveys completed by 207 attendees of Cap Go Meh festival and 160 visitors of Linggarjati festival. This study employed Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) consist of analysing measurement model using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and analysing structural model using regression analysis.

Findings – Visitors have different motives to attend and take a part in festival. In Cap Go Meh festival, group socializationhas a positive effect on participation, which lead to immersion, then influences vivid memory and loyalty. While in Linggarjati festival, novelty has a positive effect on participation, which lead to immersion, then influences vivid memory and loyalty.

Practical implications – Findings suggested that the importance of engagement toward visitor’s experience (participation and immersion) in festival in order to create vivid memory and loyalty. The present findings would be particular interest to Linggarjati and Cap Go Meh festival as a cultural festival. Event manager should notice how important of the role of participation to fill their motive’s attending to immerse in festival and to create vivid memory and loyalty. Another practical implication of our study is the benefit of event manager to understand the characteristic of each visitor towards festival. Cap Go Meh festival can be higher in group socialization. Event manager should facilitate visitors to participate as a group on God Statue parade. Whereas in Linggarjati festival, visitors gain the novelty of historical site and city history merge with the stage of angklung -traditional music instrument- colossal.

Originality/value – The study is a pioneer in analysing the role of participation in Memorable Tourism Experience.


Memorable Tourism Experience, Festival, Participation, Immersion, Vivid Memory, Loyalty



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