CHAPTER and rationale for the study are



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section deliberates on the problem statement of this research.  The research objective and research questions
are also discussed.  The scope and
rationale for the study are also presented. The chapter closes with the
operationalization of terms used in this research.


Research Problem

is a means of communication between ‘senders’ (the one who send message) and
‘receivers’ (the one who receive message). 
There are around seven types of media that can be categorizing into
printing media (alternative media) and electronic media (mainstream
media).  Printing media consist of
newspaper, magazines, book while electronic media are television, radio, music
and movie.  Yet, not to forget, new
media: internet also part of mass media. 
According to Pierre Sorlin, “What are media used for? A standard answer
would be that they attempt at informing, entertaining and convincing” (1994:
28).  Inasmuch, as play its role in
informing, entertaining and convincing, it also part of communication process.  Media specifically internet is discuss here
as it will be emphasize and become core of the study to understand
communication as whole.

contrary with that, the Annah Rais Village is chosen as locality for the
fieldwork.  The reason why Annah Rais selected
is due to its ability in offering ethnic tourism through media and also due to
its trusted and long service in the industry. 
Other than that, in the communication studies, the research of Annah
Rais is still lacking which mean, this studying will bring new evidence that
may be useful for future reference.

date, there are a few studies that has been conducted regarding Annah Rais as
homestay and whole.  Most of the study
revolves around its history, culture, tradition, handicraft, hot spring,
language and environment.

Songan and his co-researchers, did mentioned about Annah Rais Longhouse
Homestay in term of rural tourism destination competitiveness.  “This study highlights the important of environmental
constructs, namely, cultural heritage attractions and natural resources are
significantly contributes to the development of key competitiveness for a rural
tourism destination from communities’ perspective” (2014:40).  “Tourism industry can help the Bidayuh of
Annah Rais Village by encouraging them to do more business.  Apart from that, they also has job by
managing the homestay” (Wahipin. N. W., 2014: 100).  Mohamad Basri bin Ramaban in his year end
project say, “Other than the longhouse attraction and the Bidayuh culture,
Annah Rais is also popular with its Hot Spring which is located near to the
longhouse”.  “Community based tourism and
homestay proprietors play crucial roles in perpetuating and ensuring the survival
of Bidayuh performing arts (Samat. T. P., Samani. M. C., Marwan. N. H. &
Maliki. J., 2016: 3)”.  “Homestay
industry helping in promoting development of Tikar Kasah (Traditional Woven
Mat) apart from helping in promoting its artistic” (Siang. A., 2014: 5).  “Their longhouse lifestyle and culture is
preserved as the key tourism product in the village” (Samat. T. P., 2012: 20).

            However, previous research on uses
and gratification theory is quite broad. 
Thus most of the previous studies on uses and gratification theory are
in-depth about the uses of social networking site, SNS such as Facebook.  “Despite the increased interest, most studies
have focused on SNSs users in general…” (Karimi. L., et al, 2014: 54).  “In this regard, researchers are using the
U theory to provide an explanation on what makes this new form of media
to be so enticing, what motivated users to join in SNSs and the gratifications
received from ongoing use” (Karimi. L., et al, 2014: 54).

            In addition, specifically on uses
and gratification, U&G theory is used in a study in by Abang Sardon.  He stated that, “User demographics has been
highlighted in numerous studies on the computer” (Abang hashim., 2000:21).  He use the Uses and Gratification theory to
study internet used among student in selected secondary school in Sarawak.

            Though past information has been
studies about Annah Rais, however the perspective of uses and gratification
theory in website usage to promote ethnic tourism in Sarawak especially Kuching
remains unclear.  Therefore, it is
imperative to study this properly.  As
the study is the pioneer in the state which later believed can benefit the
future research.

“There is a need
for a well-structured Information System or Intelligent System technologies in
tourism industry to facilitate the access of tourist information by the users.
The current ICT system has certain limitations. For instance, accessing
information through Internet and www is an intelligent mean of getting the information,
but many a times, the information is highly fragmented” (Miraz. H. M., et al.,


addition, to date the most studies in the field of U theory have focused
on obtained gratifications, while they have neglected to explore motivations to
start using a new medium” (Karimi. L., et al, 2014: 54).

to connect ethnic tourism in Annah Rais with communication field, the
researcher will study the websites provided by the homestays operator in the
village.  It is especially to see how successfully
the communication between the homestays operator in promoting ethnic tourism
with the visitors.  For information, the
homestays’ operator used internet; website is due to its potential, ability and
opportunities to connect with the world in faster mode apart from gaining
profit.  “Information is easily stored,
manipulated, processed and delivered to the user on demand in as fast, accurate
and responsive manner” (Abang Hashim. A. S., 2000: 1).  Besides that, the internet allows the users to
become the producer too.

“The internet has
been celebrated by many for flattening all of the traditional structures around
media ownership; bringing about economic transformation; allowing just anyone
to be a media producer; and having huge significance in terms of democratic
dialogue and political actions.  On the
face of it, the internet seems to offer almost utopian possibilities,”
(Devereux, E., 2014: 263).


            Here, it clearly stated that the internet
revolution is make a big difference on ethnic tourism.

To undertake this study, the researcher will use the
Uses and Gratification Theory as the grounding theoretical framework.  For this purpose, the study analyzes the
ethnic tourism in Annah Rais Village to seek whether the perceived uses obtained while seeking information from
the websites of homestays’ operators is similar or different compare to the
actual once the visitors arrived.  Then,
the study also aim to explore the perceived gratifications obtained is similar
or different compare to actual gratification when they have visit or stayed at
the homestays.  This study draws on the
uses and gratifications perspectives in mass communication in order to examine
audience experience associated in their information seeking process.  The method utilized for this study is based
on a survey among tourists that visit and staying at the homestay in Annah

1.3       The
Research Objectives

The research objectives are:

1.         To investigate
the perceived and actual uses that visitors to the homestays obtained while
seeking information from the websites of homestays’ operators.

2.         To evaluate
the perceived and actual gratifications that visitors to the homestays obtained
after they have visit or stayed at the homestays.


1.4       The Research Questions

Based on the information provided, the following
research questions were examined:

1.         What were the perceived uses of information provided in the
websites developed by homestays’ operators before visiting the homestays?

2.         What were actual uses of information provided in the
websites developed by homestays’ operators after visiting the homestays?

3.         What were the perceived gratifications that visitors to the
homestays obtained before they visit or stayed at the homestays?

4.         What were the actual gratifications that visitors to the
homestays obtained after they visit or stayed at the homestays?



1.5       Scope
of study

study focuses on three websites that are Longhouse Adventure, Borneo Sarawak:
Annah Rais Bidayuh Homestay and Macheree’s Homestay.  Thus, the findings of this research cannot be
generalized to the rest of the websites in this country.  Any findings will be restricted to the three


1.6       Rationale
of study

In term of
communication studies, most of the research on uses and gratification theory focus
on whether the individual used the media achieve their needs or not.  Then, most of the research conducted
revolving about new media such social media like Facebook and twitter apart
from more in-depth to devices usage. 
Thus, there are just a few research that focus on website contain.  Then, less mentioning about perceived and
actual uses and gratification. 
Therefore, with this study, it is believed that the outcome can
contribute to a new miles stone in the communication field under this
theory.  Besides, for Sarawak specifically
for Kuching that not exclude from its richness in ethnic tourism, this research
will become pioneer.  Future research can
be conducted using the same instrument and method in the future on the other
homestay providers.

            Meanwhile, in term of tourism, it is
widely recognized that leisure industry is the vital key that contribute to the
development of the state and country.  Usually, the tourism linked with
cultural, economic and intellectual potential of a country on how they manage
their natural resources.  Therefore, with
this study, it is believed that, the paper can help to provide information on
how the internet usages: websites play their role in attracting the tourist
arrivals.  Besides that, it can also
contribute to the government in terms of economic flow which can be seen
through foreign exchange, business opportunities, employment and government


1.7       Definition of Concepts

According to Laura A. King in her book The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View, “Concepts are
mental categories that are used to group objects, events, and characteristics”
(2008: 326).  Concepts are part of
thinking and it is important because concepts allow the researcher to understand
and generalize things, to associate experiences and objects, aid memory and
provide clues.  In this study, concepts
are important for the reason that it allow the researcher to understand the
research study better and also can explain the research study with more
details.  There are six operationalization
concepts that needs to be defined such as perceived uses, actual uses,
perceived gratification, actual gratification, seeking information and websites
of homestays.


Perceived uses

According to Oxford
Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, perceive can be define as “to notice or
become aware of something or to understand of think of something in a
particular way” (Philips. P., Francis. B., Webb. S. & Bull. V., 2010:
1125).  Uses derive from the root word,
“use” which mean “to do something with a machine, a method, an object”
(Philips. P., Francis. B., Webb. S. & Bull. V., 2010: 1703).  In simple explanation, perceived uses are to
notice of something from an object or machine. 
In this study, perceived uses is defined as the use of media which is
internet to seek for something.


Actual uses

Actual in dictionary is known as “real, true, genuine,
authentic, verified, attested, confirmed, definite, hard, plain, veritable,
existing, existent, manifest, substantial, factual, de facto, bona fide,
informal real live” (Hawker. S & Waite. M., 2007: 13).  Meanwhile for uses definition is similar as
mentioned above.  Therefore, actual uses
in this study can be defined as the after use of website contain by the
visitors of these websites.


Perceived Gratification

gratification is best known as seeking satisfaction.  Other words for it is gratification
sought.  According to Lee. C. S., Hoe. D.
L. G., Chua. A. Y. K., Ang. R. P., 2009, “Beyond ubiquitous content creation,
context-aware, location- based information services are also now possible in
mobile content sharing, allowing users to associate digital content with
physical objects and locations in the real world, as well as receive content
tailored to their specific needs”.

Arthur Asa Berger in his book entitle, Essentials
of Mass Communication Theory stated that “…the text carried by mass media,
mass culture, or whatever you wish to call it – for their own purposes, often
subverting the content of the text.” (1995: 132).  In this study, perceived gratification is
defined as visitors look for information for instance like the location, type
of transportation, packages and picture in the homestay websites to satisfy
their needs.





Actual Gratification

gratification is usually described as gratification obtained.  It is satisfaction after experience through
certain situation or events.  In this
study, the actual gratification can be translated as their feedback.  These are agreed by Olivine Lo Wai Yu, by
saying that, “In sum, the traditional approach of using gratification obtained
in the study of motives in the adoption and use of media put much emphasis on
the user’s perspective and paid less attention on the attributes of the medium”
(2006: 20).  “Gratifications obtained
refer to those gratifications that audience members actually experience through
the use of a particular medium. By contrast, gratifications sought (also often
referred to as “needs” or “motives”) refer to those gratifications that
audience members expect to obtain from a medium before they have actually come
into contact with it” (Karimi. L., et al, 2014: 55).  In this study, actual gratification is
defined as the satisfaction that visitors achieved after using the homestay
websites and visit or stayed at the homestay.


Seeking Information

to Chirag Shah and Jennifer Sonne, 2015, seeking information is best defined as
“When people search for an answer to a question, they use all known available
resources to find the answer most quickly”. 
This mean individual search out for an answer to solve problem in their
mind which happen in their daily life.  In
olden days, before the technology was there, people seeking information by
going to the library, but with the technology advancement, most information can
be found online through the website.  In
this study, seeking information is defined as the visitor used websites as a
medium to search for information they need to plan their holiday to the Annah

Websites of homestays

based homestay is a chain that shows homestay promotion and marketing
dependence on internet protocol” (Miraz. H. M., Ramli. R., Ku Mahamud. K.R.,
Albarune. A.R.B., 2015: 33).  The
marketing process in blog is bringing dramatic changes to tourism and homestay (Miraz.
H. M., Ramli. R., Ku Mahamud. K.R., Albarune. A.R.B., 2015: 34).  In this study, websites of homestays is
defined as the three website that each belong to the Annah Rais homestay
operator to promote their ethnic tourism to the world.




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