Cap Go Meh Festival as a multicultural event in tourism policy at Singkawang City, Indonesia


Abstract
Research in this study was conducted in Singkawang city, West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia which embraces a harmonious multicultural society with three major ethnicities, namely TIDAYU (Chinese, Dayak and Malay). The rich cultural diversities give positive advantages for tourism development and bode well for significant local economic growth. Among others, the Cap Go Meh (Chinese religious tradition) is considered to the biggest event in the region that involves the TIDAYU. Even though the Cap Go Meh is annually celebrated in many different parts of the world, the Singkawang Cap Go Meh Festival has unique features that attract Chinese diasporas from other regions in Indonesia and neighboring countries. For that reason, the actors involved in this event constitute various social, economic, and political backgrounds. This research focused on how Singkawang local government can develop a distinctive tourism strategy to address the specific multi stakeholder interactions using a qualitative approach. The research found that in the context of tourism policy development, the interaction and dynamic patterns among policy actors are developed through linear individual cooperation. Within this pattern, the interaction amongst policy actors tend to involve certain individuals who have authority in controlling resources regardless of their origin or organizations. In fact, this pattern is very strongly based on family relationships or friendships found in both public and private domains. The research has shown that the strategies used in developing tourism policy in Singkawang city should be developed based on network management and good stakeholder engagement.
Keywords Tourism policy  Singkawang City  Cap Go Meh Festival
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