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Economist Rhenald Kasali talks digital disruption at Tourism Rakornas II

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, May 19, 2017 | 01:45 pm
Economist Rhenald Kasali talks digital disruption at Tourism Rakornas II

Foreign tourists travel in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. (Shutterstock/File)

The recent Tourism National Coordinating Meeting (Rakornas) II, carrying the theme "Indonesia Incorporated Tourist Village Homestay: 20,000 homestays for 2017", invited economist and management science professor from the University of Indonesia Rhenald Kasali to talk about digital disruption.

“The world has changed. In 2010 we talked about transformation, in 2015 the topic was disruption and without us realizing it there are a lot of people who lost their jobs due to these changes,” said Rhenald.

“The old game is over. The battle has now shifted to the business model. In the past people would buy, own and take over but now you don’t have to own it, you just have to make use of someone else’s unoccupied capacity,” he added.

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Disruption, says Rhenald, is defined as an innovation that changes an old, established system with a new one. It has the potential to change old players and old technologies that are more physical than digital with something that is more efficient and useful.

“Conventional taxis, for example, have huge operational costs. You need to have your own pools, drivers, land and other things. Compare this to the online-based transportation nowadays. They don’t need all of that, they only need a gadget,” explained Rhenald.

There are several factors triggering disruption. The first is new technology that is very direct, big and interactive; second is the new generation called Gen C; third is changes in demographics; and fourth is urbanization and the construction of megacities. 

“Nowadays young people don’t want to stay and live in villages. They all move to bigger cities,” he said.

The last disruption is the democratization of everything.

The business battle in today’s era has also changed drastically from previous centuries.

In the 19th century, there was a battle between countries. In the 20th century it shifted into a battle between brands and services. In the 21st century, the battle is between business models.

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This issue of disruption is connected to tourist homestays.

Rhenald said a homestay was an economic activity based on teamwork.

There is cross-cultural experience involved through the sharing of food, family and memorable experiences. Millennials want this kind of experience.

In London, there are already 2,000 digitally based homestays.

Homestays in China offer home-cooked meals and guests can get involved in the making of the traditional food. 

All of this is marketed digitally.

“My advice to the Tourism Ministry is to hire more young people because they bring the future back to the present time,” said Rhenald. (kes)