On-off hybrid spiritual tourism in the new normal era

I Gede Sutarya (Universitas Hindu Negeri I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia)

Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal

ISSN: 1819-5091

Article publication date: 6 February 2024

502

Abstract

Purpose

In 2022, the new normal era began to experience an increase in the number of tourists visiting Bali. Even though spiritual tourism was optimistic in attracting foreign visitors, most tourists come from nearby nations like Australia, indicating that the visits had a brief duration in this new era. To sustain the income of spiritual tourism advocates, it is possible to overcome the brief visit. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the collaboration of digitalized spiritual tourism activities in 2022. Data were collected through literature study, observation and in-depth interviews to determine the spiritual tourism hybrid business. The result showed that the digitalization of spiritual tourism builds an on-off hybrid method in marketing and products, thus developing a theory of the characteristics. This on-off hybrid provides a touch of experience for tourists to visit directly. Therefore, digitalization builds the resilience of spiritual tourism in the new normal era through marketing and service of hybrid products.

Design/methodology/approach

The gap between word-of-mouth marketing habits, direct product service and the tendency to digitize creates adaptation problems that take time. These problems make a practical contribution to building marketing and spiritual tourism products. The theoretical contribution is to build integrated marketing and spiritual tourism digital product concepts. A qualitative research method was adopted because the population of spiritual tourism is very limited. Therefore, it needs to be explored through experienced and knowledgeable informants. Literature study, observation and in-depth interviews were used to collect data. The literature study technique collects data from written sources, namely books, articles and internet sources. Observations were made by analyzing non-participants by recording various marketing activities and services for spiritual tourism products. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted with informants about digitalization in the new normal era.

Findings

The result showed that the digitalization of spiritual tourism builds an on-off hybrid method in marketing and products, thus developing a theory of the characteristics. This on-off hybrid provides a touch of experience for tourists to visit directly. Therefore, digitalization builds the resilience of spiritual tourism in the new normal era through marketing and service of hybrid products.

Originality/value

The method has successfully built digital and direct visit products. Digital products share knowledge, while direct visit products serve to gain hands-on experience. These products provide income for spiritual tourism actors. However, direct visit products are more emphasized to spread income, such as hotels, restaurants and souvenirs. This development provides a theoretical implication that the characteristics of tourism products can be enjoyed at the service provider’s premises and the area of origin of tourists with digital technology. Therefore, digitalization has changed the theory of the characteristics of tourism products from having to be enjoyed by service providers (Yoeti, 1991).

Keywords

Citation

Sutarya, I.G. (2024), "On-off hybrid spiritual tourism in the new normal era", Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEAMJ-09-2023-0063

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, I Gede Sutarya

License

Published in Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/ legalcode


1. Introduction

The services of the tourism industry can be enjoyed using digital technology. In the 2020 and 2021 pandemics, Bali tourism actors have learned to use technology to market their programs and build digital products. For example, I Ketut Arsana in Ubud-Bali markets and builds long-distance spiritual retreat tourism products using digital technology. Villa Subak Tabola in Sidemen-Bali also performs virtual agnihotra to give a touch to inbound tourist retreats (Sutarya, 2020). This learning is an experience to use digital technology in marketing and serving spiritual tourism products. In 2022, Bali tourism has begun to revive due to the return of incoming tourists, therefore, there is a shift in the use of digital technology, such as hybrid on-off in spiritual tourism.

This shift has become a trend because digital tourism marketing positively contributes to foreign tourists (Chamboko-Mpotaringa & Tichaawa, 2021; Magano & Cunha, 2020; Mkwizu, 2019). In this era, there is a tendency for inbound tourists to enjoy the pleasure of traveling through digital media (Dileep & Nair, 2021). This tendency is used by capitalism to build digital tourism products (Munar & Ek, 2021). The trend occurs among millennial consumers who seek information about tourist destinations through digital technology (Schutte & Chauke, 2022).

Prior research indicated that on-off hybrid had become a marketing trend in the tourism industry, but it is still novel in spiritual tourism. Spiritual tourism in Bali is accustomed to using word-of-mouth marketing in the spiritual networks (Sutarya, 2018). The practice transformed the pandemic because of the difficulty of bringing in inbound tourists directly. Therefore, the emergence of old habits can be a challenge in building the resilience of spiritual tourism in the new normal. This article aims to reveal the changes in spiritual tourism patterns from face-to-face meetings to on-off hybrids and their advantages in the new normal era.

The development of the use of information technology during the pandemic has built a new habit of using information technology. This new habit is predicted to influence the habit in the new normal era to use information technology even though face-to-face meetings are possible. Therefore, this information technology habit is argued to change the pattern of spiritual tourism in the new normal era. This change in pattern is argued to provide an advantage in the survival of spiritual tourism in the new normal era, as it succeeds in reducing promotional costs so as to reduce the price of spiritual tourism in Bali.

2. Literature review

2.1 On-off hybrid

Digitalization of marketing began in the 1990s due to the limitations of having face-to-face meetings. It uses digital channels such as online content for marketing and servicing certain products and services (Schutte & Chauke, 2022). The combination of online and offline meetings is called an on-off hybrid, a term in the education system. It extends to other activities, including the marketing of certain products. Hybrid is a concept in agriculture that refers to grafting the benefits of multiple plants to create improved seeds for all climates (Abbott et al., 2013). It is produced within the areas of social science for particular situations, such as in the case of yoga in the USA, which can adapt to American secular culture (Coskuner-Balli & Ertimur, 2017). Furthermore, the hybrid culture extends to the arts, tourism and cultural heritage (Cisneros, Crawley, & Whatley, 2020). It has entered various aspects of human life, including tourism (Cisneros et al., 2020; Daniels & Tichaawa, 2021).

In the world of tourism, hybrid is famous in tourism marketing. Hybrid tourism is a digitalization graft in direct marketing into a broader scope (Faruqi, 2019). It extends to tourism product services due to the influence of the digital-based 2019 pandemic (Fukey, 2021; Pitanatri & de Pitana, 2019). This influence widens in the new normal period known as hybrid on-of-market and services. On-off hybrid can be defined as the grafting of digitalization on the marketing and service of spiritual tourism.

2.2 Spiritual tourism

Bali Regional Regulation Number 12 of 2012 concerning Cultural Tourism mentions spiritual tourism as a special interest (Pemerintah Provinsi Bali, 2012). Tourism experts (Norman, 2014) mentioned spiritual tourism as a type of healing, experiment, quest, collective and retreat activities. This activity is related to wellness, hence defining spiritual tourism is a challenge (Kujawa, 2017; Liutikas & Liutikas, 2020; Mylonopoulos, Moira, & Parthenis, 2019). Wellness tourism achieves holistic health (Dryglas & Salamaga, 2018) using spiritual methods (Nel-lo Andreu, Font-Barnet, & EspasaRoca, 2021). The related spiritual and religious methods used are within and without the demands of the scriptures (Lopez, Holy, & Pilgrimage, 2021).

This spiritual, wellness and religious tourism has a wedge in using methods with different purposes. Spiritual tourism aims to gain enlightenment and meaning in life (Xin & Yang, 2017), while wellness achieves holistic health (Nel-lo Andreu et al., 2021). Religious tourism obtains religious goals, namely God (Duda & Doburzyński, 2019). Therefore, it is the purpose of tourism that distinguishes spiritual, wellness and religious tourism. Spiritual tourism can make visits to the holy places of certain religions, but it does not have the purpose of seeking God. Warkentin (2018) stated that spiritual tourism is a secular pilgrimage. Therefore, it can be defined as a trip made by an individual or group of individuals outside their residence to a tourist destination using tourism facilities to achieve enlightenment and the meaning of life.

2.3 New normal

The new normal era is a post-pandemic period related to the implementation of normal activities with various habits. The custom during the pandemic used health protocols related to digital technology (Chugh, 2021). This collaboration of health protocols and normal activities constructs a new pattern in the tourism business (Sengel, 2021). New patterns emerge from digital technology and health protocols (Melo, Melo, Vasconcelos, & Meneses, 2022; Sengel, 2021; Wilks, 2021). It changes marketing, product service and consumer behavior (Benjamin, Dillette, & Alderman, 2020; Dileep & Nair, 2021). This collaboration of health protocols and daily activities is called the new normal (Chugh, 2021; Melo et al., 2022).

The keywords are health protocols, normal activities and digital alternatives. Based on these, the new normal era uses digital alternatives to comply with health protocols. The alternative is used when face-to-face meetings cannot meet health protocols. Therefore, hybrid meetings are often heard, partly face-to-face and remote, in this new era. The hybrid expands to business activities, including spiritual tourism, to reach a wider community. Furthermore, it is supported by changes in consumer behavior following the adaptation to digitalization (Fukey, 2021). Therefore, the new normal is defined as a condition requiring health protocols to carry out daily activities.

In the case of spiritual tourism in Bali (Sutarya, 2020), digitalization is very important in the new era. Digitalization started during the pandemic by holding yoga and retreat distance programs using the Google meet and zoom applications. Digital yoga is also used in India to battle Covid-19 to reach most of the population, particularly in commemoration of world yoga day on June 21, 2020, using digital technology (Chopra & Singh, 2021). Digitalization has made it possible to reach marginalized communities, especially in the case of Black Girl Yoga (BGY). In this case, BGY is affordable through digital technology due to social discrimination in America (Cameron, 2019).

Digital marketing is useful for increasing consumer attention to products (Schutte & Chauke, 2022). In the case of tourism, the quality of marketing digitalization directly impacts the tourist experience before, during and after tourist visits (Kullada & Michelle Kurniadjie, 2021). Therefore, tourism marketing is expected to adopt digitalization in the face of competition (Chamboko-Mpotaringa & Tichaawa, 2021). Digitalization plays a role in marketing, maintaining and developing products (Chamboko-Mpotaringa & Tichaawa, 2021; Schutte & Chauke, 2022). In the case of spiritual tourism in the new normal era, it maintains relationships with consumers to actively participate in yoga and retreat activities from their respective countries (Sutarya, 2020). Therefore, digitalization plays a role in building the resilience of spiritual tourism products during the pandemic and new normal.

This resilience is built through an on-off hybrid, namely spiritual tourism carried out online and face-to-face. Furthermore, the combination of digital and face-to-face events is called hybrid on-off. (Melo et al., 2022). In the case of spiritual tourism, it is applied to yoga and retreat activities. In spiritual tourism, this hybrid occurs from the marketing, transaction and product service stages. Articles that discuss this issue in the case of spiritual tourism are new because of the uniqueness of providing services online. On-off hybrid cases emerged in the marketing of hotels, attractions and tourist destinations (Cisneros et al., 2020; Daniels & Tichaawa, 2021; Fukey, 2021).

3. Methods

The gap between word-of-mouth marketing habits, direct product service and the tendency to digitalize creates adaptation problems that take time. These problems make a practical contribution to building marketing and spiritual tourism products. These changes in marketing and service in spiritual tourism are the focus of this article. The changes in focus are the influence of information technology habits on spiritual tourism marketing and services and the role of these new habits for the benefit of spiritual tourism business development in the new normal era.

The influence and role of this new habit is approached with phenomenological qualitative research, as it seeks to reveal the experience of applying this new habit in the new normal era. The data used is primary data in the form of observation results and in-depth interviews. Observation data is in the form of direct observation of spiritual tourism activities and in-depth interview data is in the form of informants' experiences. Secondary data comes from literature studies on internet media, books and articles related to the focus of the discussion.

The informants are spiritual tourism practitioners, namely I Ketut Arsana, Guru Made Sumantra and Ni Ketut Sukarmiati. The first informant Arsana is a yoga instructor with more than 30 years of experience, who now owns a yoga retreat hotel and a yoga retreat ashram. The second informant Sumantra is a yoga instructor with more than 20 years of experience, who is now a teacher of yoga instructors in Bali. The third informant Sukarmiati is a female figure with more than 15 years of experience in managing a special retreat villa.

Literature study, observation and in-depth interviews were used to collect data. The literature study technique collects data from written sources, namely books, articles and internet sources. Observations were made by non-participants observation by recording various marketing activities and services for spiritual tourism products. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted with informants about digitalization in the new normal era. Pengumpulan data diawali dengan observasi. The results of these observations were explored through in-depth interviews. The results of observations and in-depth interviews were combined with the results of the literature study. These three data results were verified in accordance with the rules of data triangulation. Valid data were used in writing this article.

These data were analyzed descriptively and interpretatively qualitatively. The analysis began with data reduction into categories of habits during the pandemic, new habits in the new normal and benefits in the new normal era. These categories were connected to each other. These relationships were interpreted for the purpose of drawing conclusions. The relationships take the form of the influence of the habits of the pandemic on the habits of the new normal era and the role of these new habits for spiritual tourism in the new normal era.

4. Results

4.1 New normal spiritual tourism

Inbound tourist visits to Bali during the 2020 and 2021 pandemics decreased dramatically. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, there were 6,275,210, 1,069,471 and 51 inbound tourists, respectively. In 2022, the number of tourist visits increased until June 30, 2022, to 371,504 (Badan Pusat Statistik Provinsi Bali, 2022). This surge in incoming tourism provides optimism as establishments begin to reopen. Tourism destinations like Kuta are starting to experience traffic jams like before the pandemic (tribune news, 2022). Based on the data, the largest visits still come from neighboring countries, such as Australia, India and Singapore. Tourists from countries with the potential to stay longer, such as Europe and America, are still not optimal (databooks, 2022). This information reveals that Bali’s tourism is just beginning to revive and has not yet been restored to 2019 levels.

Spiritual tourism activists carry out activities using digital technology as creativity during the pandemic, such as retreats, yoga and digital agnihotra. Participants who buy the program are digital tourists in their respective countries. Therefore digitalizing spiritual tourism is a business during the pandemic. The Balinese setting and the program are digital tourist attractions, with the disadvantage of only reaching areas with a maximum time difference of three hours, such as Australia to Japan.

This is to give them a touch to remember Ubud, Bali” (Arsana). “We want them to always remember a good place for this retreat” (Sukarmiati). “Virtual for a while, we hope they come (Sumantra).

Table 1 explains that the virtual activities of spiritual tourism are only to fulfill short-term economic needs, maintain relationships and provide memories. The short-term economy is the income from payment of program packages. Maintaining relationships is done by communication during the program. Providing memories is done during the program, to build longing to come to Bali. Providing these memories is done by doing activities with a beautiful scenic background, to whet the appetite to come to Bali.

The example Arsana who held a virtual retreat program for two days on 10–11 October 2021 with participants from Japan, Australia and other countries, with a maximum time difference of three (3) hours. The diet program provides remote instructions, while yoga and pranayama exercises use a remote meeting application. Sukarmiati conducts virtual agnihotra with people abroad during the pandemic (2020 and 2021). Sumantra does virtual yoga practice to maintain the continuity of yoga practice. Arsana, Sukarmiati and Sumantra hope that inbound tourists will come to their training centers because their arrival will benefit hotels, food and souvenirs.

These spiritual tourism activists carry out on-off hybrid activities in the new normal. The offline yoga and retreat have begun to launch, although they continue to provide online programs. The offline retreat program was opened at OmHamRetreat, a hotel owned by Arsana. Offline yoga is also open at the hotel and the Munivara Ashram (owned by Arsana). Sumantra’s offline yoga classes are conducted at Lungsiakan-Ubud and partner hotels. The Subak Tabola Sidemen retreat program has also been opened. The online program in the new normal is carried out at overseas training centers, consultations and private services. Therefore, the habit of digitalizing is still ongoing in the new normal in the form of an on-off hybrid.

The yoga trainers and I still provide remote training with Google meet” (Sumantra). “Just now, I finished this offline retreat program (Arsana).

Table 2 explains that spiritual tourism still uses virtual customs for limited activities, such as private yoga and consultations. Public yoga classes are already offline. Retreat tourism is also only done offline to optimize revenue, especially from food and beverages, because retreat tourism is a tour with full activities in one place so that the service can be optimal.

Sumantra stated that this online tutorial promotes inbound tourists. However, Arsana admits that it is challenging to conduct yoga online because of the time difference with other countries, especially Europe. Therefore, the recording stored on YouTube was guided, and private online classes were served in this new normal era. Arsana conducts online activities weekly with overseas yoga practice centers. Master Yoga Arsana claims to have the most training centers in Australia and Japan. An offline program was prepared for this new normal in Ubud promoted through the internet and YouTube.

Arsana and Sumantra use digital technology to support their programs in Ubud. In the new normal, inbound tourists are expected to come directly because the arrival will benefit many parties, from flights to culinary delights. Online classes only benefit yoga trainers and application service providers. Sumantra collaborated with a Markendya Yoga participant from Australia named Nicole Turner-Buttler. Nicole brought her friends to Ubud, and the activity was routinely carried out. Nicole promotes yoga classes through Facebook while traveling to Bali and outside Bali. These classes promote the beauty of Bali’s beaches and natural scenery, including a retreat scheduled for 2–4 December 2022. It is known as the Yoga Summer Retreat, and registration closes on September 2, 2022.

4.2 The role of on-off hybrid

This offline program is also equipped with yoga classes through Zoom meetings. Nicole Turner offers this program through “A Yoga Class in Your Home-Zoom into Namaste Yoga” (https://mailchi.mp/673932e825e8/zoomintonamasteyogawithnicola). This class runs from August 20–November 24, 2022, while traveling to Sumba. Through this class, Nicole will promote the beautiful beaches of Sumba. This yoga program is offered for 10 US Dollars per person at each meeting. Digital technology keeps the yoga masters in Bali alive, and Arsana survived the pandemic by creating online programs using digital technology. Sumantra also created a program, and the weakness is the time difference which causes tourists not to feel the morning or evening atmosphere like in Bali. This time constraint has made digitalization shift its function to a supporting program in the new normal era.

Online coverage is not that wide due to time issues because yoga practice is better in the morning or evening (Arsana).

Figures 1 and 2 illustrate spiritual tourism activities in the new era. Figure 1 shows an online yoga class offering. Turner (2022) offers this online yoga class while traveling in Bali so as to provide a different scenic background when attending his online yoga class. Figure 2 depicts an offline class at the OmHamRetreat Hotel. This offline class is the hope of yoga instructors, while the online class is the support.

An offline program is desirable because of OmHamRetreat and Munivara Ashram in Ubud. This kundalini master is also busy managing a yoga and healing activity center in Jalan Hanuman, Ubud. Sumantra emphasized the offline program because it cooperated with hotels around Ubud to create an offline program. Arsana and Sumantra emphasize online consultation programs on various issues related to yoga. There are also consultations to deal with multiple health issues through yoga and diet. This consultation is conducted after training online. Technology has made reaching potential tourists in different regions of the world much simpler.

Table 3 shows the hybrid on-off benefits obtained by tourists and spiritual tourism practitioners. Travelers get prices that are in line with economic conditions, while practitioners get honoraria during difficult times. For tourism entrepreneurs, this hybrid on-off activity reduces hotel revenue from the provision of rooms, transportation, food and beverages. Therefore, offline is an expected activity that provides benefits to all stakeholders, but overcoming various circumstances, hotels still provide hybrid.

The example, Hotel OmHamRetreat has a dedicated distance consultation room. Arsana uses this place to provide distance guidance. Villa Beeing Satva also has a place for distance consultation with overseas spiritual masters. Therefore, these yoga teachers have a special place to conduct consultations without getting distracted. The class is paid for at the time of registration and has a certain number of participants. Online classes can also be conducted from various places in Indonesia, such as Nicole Turner-Butler tutors traveling to Sumba. The class was promoted through Facebook with a registration link. Tourists were lured to visit Indonesia through the promotion of its natural beauty.

5. Discussion

Spiritual tourism in this new normal era promotes digitalization of marketing and product services. The products are offered hybrid on and off through online and face-to-face classes. Meanwhile, online classes lure inbound tourists to Bali, and consultations are still carried out online through direct methods. Tourists can still come directly without registering, provided places are available. Its cause, in this new normal era, yoga training centers in Ubud are starting to get crowded.

These data indicate that habits during the pandemic are the main supporters of the spiritual tourism business in the new normal era. Before the pandemic, spiritual tourism used word-of-mouth marketing. Spiritual centers build training centers abroad, and these practice centers bring inbound tourists to Bali (Sutarya, 2018). The case of tourism in India is also similar to Bali in getting inbound tourists. Yoga schools in India form spiritual teachers that can set up training centers in Europe and America (Bhavanani, 2017).

During the pandemic, spiritual tourism businesses are forced to use digital technology. They create distance programs using Zoom meetings or Google meet. This program supports their business because no inbound tourists are coming to Bali. Villas that use spirituality as the basis of their activities also use digital technology to contact foreign tourists, such as Villa Subak Tabola, Sidemen-Karangasem (Sutarya, 2020). The habit of using digital technology lasts until the new normal, where spiritual tourism uses an on-off hybrid. Digital spiritual tourism programs are still carried out with face-to-face training. The dominant spiritual tourism marketing uses digital technology through Facebook and other special links. The implementation of the training took place in an on-off hybrid manner. Another study states that the use of digital technology in the new normal era will be dominant (Fukey, 2021), as evident in the case of spiritual tourism in Bali.

This technology opens up wide opportunities for small businesses. Private course offerings are open online as an opportunity for yoga teachers to develop their uniqueness. Tourism in the new normal era opens opportunities for small tourism businesses (Fuchs, 2022). The development of digital technology in this period has practical implications for the marketing and diversification of spiritual tourism products. This digitalization directly affects the access of small spiritual tourism businesses to the market. Therefore, it provides equal opportunities for spiritual tourism service providers to encourage innovation and creativity. This innovation and creativity also occur in the marketing of spiritual tourism, which uses hybrid marketing through digital technology and networks. Digital technology promotes the program, while spiritual network provides testimonials and promotions.

In theory, the forms of digital promotion are owned, earned and paid media. Owned media is a form of digital promotion using separate media. Earned media is attained through sharing information, while paid media is digital promotion involving payment (Octavia & Sari, 2019). In promoting spiritual tourism, an on-off hybrid method is used through digital media and spiritual networks. Digital media spreads information, while spiritual networks provide testimonials or various experiences. This hybrid method builds on-off hybrid tourism product marketing, hence digitalization during the pandemic still affects tourism business behavior in the new normal era. The hybrid on-off method uses a combination of digital and word-of-mouth networks. Furthermore, combinations are complementary marketing methods, while digitalization and networking speed up information and the exchange of experiences.

The method has successfully built digital and direct visit products. Digital products share knowledge, while direct visit products serve to gain hands-on experience. These products provide income for spiritual tourism actors. However, direct visit products are more emphasized to spread income, such as hotels, restaurants and souvenirs. This development provides a theoretical implication that the characteristics of tourism products can be enjoyed at the service provider’s premises and the area of ​​origin of tourists with digital technology. Therefore, digitalization has changed the theory of the characteristics of tourism products from having to be enjoyed by service providers (Yoeti, 1991).

6. Conclusion

Spiritual tourism uses digitalization during the 2020–2021 pandemic. In the new normal era, this digitalization still affects the marketing and spiritual tourism products. Spiritual tourism marketing uses a hybrid on-off method to spread information. This hybrid method provides practical implications for equal distribution of opportunities in the marketing and development of spiritual tourism products for small and medium enterprises. The theoretical implication is the development of hybrid products, complementing the theory of the characteristics of tourism products from being only enjoyed at the place of service providers. Marketing also uses a hybrid method. This hybrid method is required since spiritual tourism sells experiential items from the marketing process to product sharing.

This study builds the characteristics of spiritual tourism products through primary data. The on-off hybrid service can only be conducted on spiritual tourism. Other types of tourism are carried out at the marketing stage using digital technology. In service, tourists are expected to come to the destinations to enjoy attractions. This is an advantage of spiritual tourism, enabling its survival during the pandemic. In the new normal, on-off hybrid products were developed to reach a wider range of consumers. Furthermore, online services support offline to provide greater benefits from lodging, food, souvenirs and transportation.

This research is limited to describing the reality of marketing and developing spiritual tourism but has not tested the hybrid method in other products. Therefore, this hybrid method needs to be analyzed in other studies on other tourism products to enhance its general acceptance for marketing and tourism product development. Different tests are important to develop hybrid marketing for tourism products. Additionally, tourism attractions should be analyzed using digital technology.

Figures

Online program offers

Figure 1

Online program offers

Offline yoga program at hotel om ham retreat

Figure 2

Offline yoga program at hotel om ham retreat

Spiritual tourism during the pandemic

NumberProgramsActivitiesExpectationsChallenges
1YogaAsanas, breathing technic and meditationTemporary economicTime difference
2RetreatDiets, asanas, breathing technic and meditationKeep contactsTime difference
3AgnihotraMantra (holy reciting word) on a holy fire sacrificePlace memorizingTime difference

Source(s): Table by the author

Spiritual tourism program hybrid on-off on new normal

ProgramsOnlineOfflineDescribing
Yoga V
Private yogaVVOnline supporting offline
Retreat V
ConsultationsVVOnline supporting offline

Source(s): Table by the author

Advantages and disadvantages of on off hybrid spiritual tourism in the new normal

ActorsAdvantagesDisadvantages
TouristsReduce hotel, food and transportation costNon-authentic experiences
Spiritual tourism practitionersEarning on the new normal eraNon-earning from hotels, restaurants and transportation
Tourism entrepreneurs Reduce earnings from accommodation and transportation

Source(s): Table by the author

Conflicts of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Corresponding author

I Gede Sutarya can be contacted at: igedesutarya20@gmail.com

About the author

Dr I Gede Sutarya is Associate Professor at Universitas Hindu Negeri I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar and author of books and articles in the tourism field. One of Dr Sutarya’s books is titled “Pariwisata Spiritual Bali” (Spiritual Tourism in Bali).

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