Leadership in Rural Tourism: Case Study Wangun Lestari Village, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

Y. Maulana

S. Ramadanty

During the last six decades, tourism industry becomes the industry’s leading and fastest growing almost all over the world (Alizadeh & Isa, 2015). The development of the tourism sector encourages each country to continue to develop the potential of tourism with the theme of local wisdom respectively. The potential development is related to the innovation of tourist attraction so that tourists who come, want to repeat their visit in tourist area (Kamil, 2017). Indonesia is a country that is eager to develop tourism potential. The high potential of tourism development in Indonesia, creating a great potential for Indonesia as a country that carries the concept of tourism (travel.kompas.com, 2016). According to data from BPS there are 81.284 Villages in Indonesia (bps.go.id, 2016). Indonesia has the potential to develop the concept of rural tourism based on tourism village development data from 2009-2015 (Setiawan, Rijanta, & Baiquni, 2017) and continues to grow until 2017.

The potential of rural tourism that can be applied in Indonesia is very diverse, in accordance with the concept of rural tourism such as: cultural-historical tourism (Paresishvili, Kvaratskhelia, & Mirzaeva, 2017), agricultural tourism (Boysa, Whiteb, & Grooverb, 2017), nature tourism, adventure tourism (Raj, 2017) and ecotourism (Mendoza-Ramos & Prideaux, 2017). The development of rural tourism in Indonesia through a unique and local wisdom held, can contribute to increasing the economic potential of the village and the opportunity to improve the welfare of the community (Aytuğ & Mikaeili, 2017).

The development of rural tourism in Indonesia is contained in the Guidelines of Rural Tourism Destination Development and Government Law Number 10 Year 2009 on tourism. In Government Law Number 10 Year 2009, there are four pillars that form the basis of the development of rural tourism: destination, industry, marketing, and institutional (Kementerian Pariwisata Republik Indonesia, 2015). Institutional role in the rural tourism sector in Indonesia, became one of the important factors for the success of a rural tourism destination. Institutional in a rural tourism led by a Headman. The role of the village head in the development of rural tourism is related to how a village leader directs all village potentials to improve the economic and social sectors of rural communities (Pechlaner, Kozak, & Volgger, 2014).

The leadership role of a Headmen in a village becomes an important component in the institutional arrangement and development of rural tourism. Local leadership on rural tourism is important to improve community capacity (Blackman, 2008), especially in terms of development of Small and Medium Enterprises (UKM) in the village. Therefore, the role of leadership as a village head is also required to be able to understand the dynamics of social-economic development of rural communities in the development of a rural tourism (Beer, 2014). A village head as an administrator, then in his role must be a source of innovation for the development of ideas and strategies that support the renewal and development (Kapita, Kaawoan, & Lengkong, 2017). The leadership role of a Headmen as a village apparatus can be analyzed based on the Criteria for Performance Excellence Baldrige Framework (NIST, 2013), especially on Leadership criteria.

Based on the Criteria for Performance Excellence Baldrige Framework, the leadership role is the first stage in exposure to the vision and mission of the organization and communicates the long-term strategic challenges, values and strategic planning (Pröbstl-Haider, Melzer, & Jiricka, 2014). The implementation of leadership roles in a tourist village is strongly influenced by the communication patterns and leadership style of a village head (Luthra & Dahiya, 2015). Additionally, the success of a Headman depends on his/her ability to communicate and collaborate through their leadership style to increase the potential development needs of the village as a tourist village (Răducana & Răducanb, 2014).

Headman of Rural Tourism Village who was appointed as research object is the Headman in Wangun Lestari Village, located in Bandung Regency, West Java, Indonesia. Wangun Lestari Village has been a Rural Tourism Village since years …. then and continue to expand its potential as a rural tourism village. Potential Wangun Lestari Village as a rural tourism village through the theme of agricultural tourism, nature tourism, and adventure tourism. In the development of potential in Wangun Lestari Village, the role of Headman leadership becomes the key successful of the concept of rural tourism.

Therefore, the aims of this research are to describe (1) how the manifestation of Communication and Organizational Performance concept based on Criteria for Performance Excellence Baldrige Framework by Headman in Wangun Lestari Village. And, (2) how the leadership style applied by Headman of Wangun Lestari Village in developing the potential of rural tourism.


Leadership in Rural Tourism

The development of rural tourism destinations assigns the leadership aspect as the key to the success of tourism object along with internal communication, shared vision and comprehensive planning, has been declared important in collaboration (Åberg, 2014). The Headman as a local leader figure is someone who can influence opinions (Blichfeldt, Hird, & Kvistgaard, 2014), policy, and community action based of their role and position in society. Local leader plays an important role in the development of community tourism as one of the key factors in building community (Xu, Zhang, & Tian, 2017). Local government institutions also greatly influence the role of leadership in rural touristm destinations (Pechlaner, Kozak, & Volgger, 2014). This is related to the development of the potential to improve the competitive position of destinations. The development of tourism destinations assigns the leadership aspect as the key to the success of tourism object (Åberg, 2014).

Based on previous research, Goeppinger defines that leadership in a rural tourism is related to the interaction between the Headman and his community to achieve the goal (Northouse, 2015). Leadership in rural communities is related to organizational effectiveness and village development activities that can contribute to local economic and social development (Davies, 2011). In a rural tourism, leadership roles have the goal of promoting rural community development and Local Government also as a supporting role in tourism policy (Li, Ryan, & Cave, 2016). There have been several previous studies that focus on the role of community leadership in tourism (Haven-Tang & Jones, 2012). A local leader on rural tourism should have business knowledge, good communication skills, strong networks, and a strong vision and mission to village development (Moscardo, 2014).

Leadership Style in Rural Tourism

Leadership can be defined as the position, function and ability to lead other people to a greater success. Meanwhile, when discussing the relations between leadership and organization, it is the ability of individual to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organization (Ayuba, Manaf, & Hamzah, 2014).  The various types of leadership styles that exist essentially refer to the conditions of reality contained in the community. The success of a tourist destination depends heavily on the effectiveness of leadership leadership style (Poskas & Messer, 2015). Understanding different leadership styles can modify leader relationships with followers for the common good (Trudeau, Messer, Hornvedt, & Vitcenda, 2012). There are two types of leadership, Transactional leadership and Transformational leadership.

Transactional leadership relates to the focus and targets for the realization of certain goals, viewed as a ‘top down’ process with a particular management orientation (Beer, 2014). While the transformational leadership style characterized by bringing change and effective communication proved to have a positive effect on employee commitment. The style of Transformational Leadership not only brings change but also encourages subordinates to become more collective (Caesar, 2016).

The process of transformational leadership focused on the power and engagement of leaders with stakeholders on the development of the capacity of villagers at a tourist destination (Kozak, Volgger, and Pechlaner, 2014). There are three categories of transformational leadership: Shared/Community-Based leadership, Servant leadership, and Authentic Leadership (McGehee, Knollenberg, & Komorowski, 2015). Shared/Community-Based Leadership attempts to expand upon Transformational Leadership’s charism and intellectual stimulation attributes by focusing on leaders’ vision and empowerment capabilities. Community-Based Leadership, proposes the use of a collective vision while acknowledging the diverse backgrounds of the community. This approach is defined by integration and achieved through a process of learning (Kirk & Shutte, 2004). Leaders who apply the Community-Based Leadership approach empower individuals to develop mutual understanding through discussion and problem solving (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Webe, 2009).

Servant Leadership represents another permutation of Transformational Leadership which addresses empowerment and development of trust and adds humility and stewardship as leadership tools. As with Community-Based Leadership, Servant Leadership has been critiqued for lack of research supporting its effectiveness, as well as for the multiple interpretations of Greenleaf’s initial work and the variations of measurement tools used to define Servant Leadership (van Dierendonck, 2011). Authentic Leadership is an approach which integrates Transformational Leadership’s qualities of group engagement and empowerment with trust and the notion of ethical and moral authenticity (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Webe, 2009). “Authentic leaders understand their own values and behave toward others based on their values” (Northouse, 2012). In the development of authentic leadership, ethical/moral component have an important place as all the leadership types (Müceldili, Turan, & Erdil, 2013).


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Y. Maulana