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The Role of  English in Relation to Foreign Tourists’ Revisit Intention for Tourism Development in Mentawai, Indonesia

  • Elfiondri
  • 1481-1490
  • May 23, 2023
  • Language

The Role of  English in Relation to Foreign Tourists’ Revisit Intention for Tourism Development in Mentawai, Indonesia

Faculty of Humanities, Universitas Bung Hatta, Indonesia 


 Received: 12 April 2023; Accepted: 19 April 2023; Published: 23 May 2023


English plays an important role in tourism. In tourism activity in Mentawai cultural tourism, foreign tourists involve in cultural activities in which they are served in English by Mentawaian people. Previous studies on Mentawai tourism show that before covid-19 pandemic, foreign tourists from different countries visiting Mentawai to experience Mentawai indigenous tradition were served in English. Unfortunately it is not examined yet whether or  not the service in English has effects on tourists intention to revisit cultural tourism villages in Mentawai. Their revisit intention is certainly related to the service with which they have a tourism experience. This study examines the role of the English service in relation to foreign  tourists’  revisit intention with the aim of finding out the effect of English on the revisit intention. The study is important for the developing of Mentawai tourism in this era of new normal and post-covid 19 in the future. The study conducted quantitatively resulted in that service in English had a positive effect on foreign tourists ‘ revisit intention, meaning that English supported tourists’ cultural contact with Mentawai tradition in tourism activity. Tourism service in English influenced tourists’ intention in the future time to visit cultural tourism villages in Mentawai. English plays an important role in improving tourists’ revisit intention to cultural tourism villages in Mentawai.

Keywords: English, Mentawai indigenous tradition, Foreign tourists ‘ revisit intention


Study of literature review on Mentawai tourism indicates that most of studies on tourism can be classified into two main streams – surfing tourism and cultural tourism, and none of the studies are related to virtual tourism which is needed in this pandemic era of corona virus 19 so­ called covid-19. By the years of 2016, most of tourism studies were on surfing tourism (Elfiondri , 2019). In 2005, Ponting studied surfing tourism de-construction. Other scholars like Towner (2016), Towner & Orams (2016) and (Ponting, 2005) studied tourism in Mentawai in the perspective of surfing.

Towner (2016) discussed tourism by focusing study on profiling surf tourists, then in the same year, Towner together with Oram (2016) conducted study on how  to manage surfing tourism management. Their study is developed with the study on the perceptions of surfing tourism operators in 2016). The studies are on surfing-tourism in Mentawai – not on cultural tourism. Study on Mentawai cultural tourism appears several years later. Elfiondri (2019) discussed cultural tourism studies in relation to tourists’ Memorable Tourism Experience (MTE). Foreign tourists’ have a good MTE on  Mentawai tradition meanings that the tourists enjoy Mentawai traditions .

However, the good MTE is not only because of the Mentawaian unique traditions, but also supported by services in various manners and media one of which is, of course, service in communication – communication in language which can be globally understood by the foreign tourists. In the context, English as globally understood language plays important role in the communication. English plays important role in serving foreign tourism in Mentawai (Elfiondri , 2018). Unfortunately scudy on the language role in Mencawai tourism is rather neglected. Given the important role of English in cultural tourism development in Mentawai.

This study examines the role of English in relation to Mentawai cultural tourism for tourism development in new normal and post-covid 19 pandemic era. It is a gap in literature of Mentawai tourism study. Either in the new normal era, covid 19 pandemic era or post covid 19, English can be used in developing Mentawai tourism in the form of virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). With the support of English as means of giving cultural information on Mentawai indigenous cultural heritage (tradition) to foreign tourists in the  two  forms of tourism (VR and AR tourism), Mentawai tourism can still be enjoyed by foreign tourists virtually.


Cultural Tourism and English

Cultural tourism is a form of tourism with which tourists do tourism activity by involving in a deep cultural experiences of an emotional nature (Reisinger, 1994). In the activity  of tourism, people going out from their own home community visit a community because of their interest in the community culture elements which include history, arts, cultural heritage, life style which are offered by the community (Silberberg, 1995). The community cultural elements are cultural   destination  by  the  people.  According   to  Stylianou-Lambert   (2011),  the  cultural destination can involve cultural sites, tourist attractions, architects, festivals, food, and museums. Based on the scholars, cultural tourism is a form of tourism where people from outside of a community or place visit the community or place to participate in the community cultural heritage. They get involved in the cultural heritage doe to that the heritage is a new thing form them.

The heritage as the new thing not belonging to their home community becomes their first motivation to visit a tourism destination. There are various tourists’ motivations to engage in a local cultural heritage. Based on scholars, Mcintosh and Prentice (1999), Wang (2000), and Boyd, 2002), Chen (2017) drew the following figure which pictures the flow of tourists’ motivation and interest process.

tourists' revisit intention to visit a tourism destination

The figure by Chen (2017) indicates that tourists’ revisit intention to visit a tourism destination and their intention to recommend other people (family members, relative, friends, etc.) to visit the destination begin with engagement, cultural contact and memorable tourism experience. Feeling satisfied with their engagement will have a positive effect on cultural contact, and satisfied with cultural contact will have a positive on memorable tourism experience. Good tourism experience will have effect positively on revisit intention and intention to recommend.

In the context of tourism in Mentawai, local cultural heritage tourists visit belongs to a community whose native language is not English. Almost of tourists who feel interested in Mentawai indigenous cultural heritage are foreigners (Elfiondri, 2019). The tourists are served by the local people of Mentawai by using English small talk (phatic communion) in order to be polite (Elfiondri, 2018). Besides that, the more important thing is that the local people should use English to provide the foreign tourists with cultural information of Mentawai heritage. They use English either in written form or written form.  In using English in tourism activity, the local people also  need English small talks in written form to establish and maintain social relation (Elfiondri , 2020). In the case, tourism in this global era needs English for tourism.

Based on Richards (2018) and Robinson & Noveli (2007) respectively, Elfiondri (2020) summarized that English is important in tourism activity. Tourists in tourism activity have an engagement doe to that they want to have an experience on new culture. To accommodate tourists’ need either on non-cultural or cultural information related to the tourism activity in a tourism destination. Furthermore according to Stainton (2018), almost in any activities of communication in tourism such as communication in explaining cultural heritage elements, in tour operations and activities like managing transportation, hotel , and in other tourism-related activity and sector. Thus, Stainton (2018) concluded that in every domain of tourism activity and others related to tourism, people need English as means of tourists-globally understood communication.

Referred to the scholars’ explanation on English need in tourism industry, it can be concluded that any line of tourism-related activities needs English. English plays an important role in the process of tourists ‘ satisfaction with a tourism activity form visitor engagement to top achievement of tourists ‘ satisfaction with a tourism activity – revisit intention and intention to recommend. To develop tourism in various eras either in normal, new normal, covid-19 pandemic or post-covid-19, scientifically satisfaction of tourists needs to be measured quantitatively in order to obtain measured-data as ever held by Elfiondri (2019). The measured data can be used as reference in making tourism-development policy.


Data of this study were collected in 2019 through survey using questionnaires which were designed based on instruments used by Chen (2017). The instruments were modified by adding English as a component of tourists’ process satisfaction based on Robinson & Noveli (2007), Richard (2018), Stainton (2018), and Elfiondri (2020). As pictured in the following figure, English is posited in line with cultural contact – not with visitor engagement. In the tourism experience (see, Chen, 2017), visitor engagement is the first component then followed respectively by cultural contact, memorable experience and revisit intention and intention to recommend.

The reason of positing English in the position is that visitor engagement refers to interest of tourists in culture (Abdul-Ghani, 2011), including emotional connection and commitment (and affected by prior knowledge (Taheri, 2014). English does not yet play a role in the engagement, but plays a role in cultural contact. In the engagement, English is not yet needed directly, and local people of Mentawai are not yet in contact with tourists. While in cultural contact, either tourists or local people of Mentawai need English. Cultural contact refers to tourists who stay in contact with a different culture for a period of time (Chen, 2017). In the case of Mentawai tourism, tourists stay in contact with Mentawaian indigenous tradition (culture). In the contact, the tourists use English and are served in English. Thus, it is the reason of positing English in line with cultural contact in studying the role of English in relation to tourists’ revisit intention. Data were analyzed quantitatively based on Matandare (2018) using using Likert scales with seven-points and SEM-PLS and Smart-PLS 3.0.


Based on field and library research, it is found that Indigenous Mentawaian people have tradition (cultural heritage) in the form of tangible and intangible heritage. The intangible heritage consists of authentic heritage and contested heritages. The cultural heritage  with its elements are offered to foreign tourists as commodity in tourism activity. Based on cultural tourism theory (Chen, 2017), tourists have a cultural contact with the cultural elements. The contact through memorable experience has an effect on tourists’ intention. In tourism activity in Mentawai cultural tourism villages, tourists’ contact with the indigenous tradition is supported by service in English. Tourism guides including people who involve in the contact use English as means of communication in giving cultural information to foreign tourists. In  the contact, English is an inseparable important element from the indigenous tradition in the tourism activity. English involves very much in the tourism activity. The following measurement models of statistical analysis show the important involvement of English in the Mentawai tourism.

Based on the path diagram below, this study consists of two variables, namely the dependent variable and the independent variable. The independent variables in this study are the Tourism English (TE) and Cultural Contact (CC), Memorable Tourism Experience (MTE) variables, while the dependent variable is Revisit Intention (TI). This analysis is used to see how the influence of Tourism English on tourists revisit intention. The path shows that English has an effect on tourists revisit intention indirectly, that is through memorable tourism experience. The English stands together with cultural contact has positive effect on tourists revisit intention . It implies that English has a role in attracting tourists intention to revisit Mentawai tourism. The role of English in relation to the tourism experience of revisit intention to tourism destination in Mentawai is measured and indicated by the following measurement models.

Outer Model Measurement

Before  the  measurement  is carried  out, it is necessary  to test the  feasibility  of  the  data  by measuring the validity and reliability of the variables. The outer model test was conducted to sess the validity and reliability of the model. The results of the validity and reliability tests are explained as follows.

Convergent validity test

Convergenc validicy is indicaced by the correlation becween indicators and lacenc variables. Convergent validity can be achieved in two ways, namely through the achievement of criteria and through model comparison test. In this study, convergent validity was proven by achieving the criteria. In the SEM-PLS approach, a measurement has met convergent validity if it has met the requirements, namely having a loading factor above 0.5. The results of loading factors can be seen in Table 1 below.

The Role of English in Relation to Foreign Tourists’ Revisit Intention for Tourism Development in Mentawai, Indonesia
The Role of English in Relation to Foreign Tourists’ Revisit Intention for Tourism Development in Mentawai, Indonesia

Tabel 1. Convergent Validity Test

Matrix Cultural Contact MTE Revisit Intension Tourism English
RI1 0.895
RI2 0.870
RI3 0.855
Cc1 0.824
Cc2 0.845
Cc3 0.805
Cc4 0.705
Cc5 0.843
Cc6 0.885
Cc7 0.820
Cc8 0.858
Cc9 0.646
Cc10 0.727
Cc11 0.712
Cc12 0.800
Cc13 0.791
Cc14 0.774
MTE1 0.895
MTE2 0.870
MTE3 0.855
MTE4 0.800
MTE5 0.834
MTE6 0.783
MTE7 0.858
MTE8 0.769
MTE9 0.602
MTE10 0.755
MTE11 0.517
MTE12 0.753
MTE13 0.672
MTE14 0.741
MTE15 0.667
MTE16 0.672
MTE17 0.512
MTE18 0.659
MTE22 0.679
MTE23 0.775
MTE24 0.705
Te1 0.773
Te2 0.675
Te3 0.905
Te4 0.908
Te5 0.848
Te7 0.814
Te8 0.828

The table process indicates that the correlation between the indicator and the construct has met the convergent validity, because all loading factors are above 0.50.The result proves that the Cultural Contact variable can be reflected by 14 indicators, namely CCI , CC2, CC3, CC4, CC5, CC6, CC7 , CC8, CC9, CCIO, CCl 1, CC12, CC13, CC14. Revisit Intention variable can be reflected by 3 indicators, namely Rll , Rl2, and RB, the Tourims English variable is reflected by 7 indicators,  namely  Tel , Te2, Te3, Te4, Te5, Te7, Te8, where  the Te  6 variable  has to  be removed from the model because it is not valid in the validity test with the loading value factor below  0,5. The Memorable Tourims Experience  variable  can  be reflected  by  19 indicators, namely IMTEI , MTE2, MTE3, MTE4, MTE5, MTE6, MTE7, MTE8, MTE9, MTEIO, MTE12 ,TE13, MTE14, MTE15,  MTE16,  MTE18,  MTE22, MTE23, MTE24i.   MTE indicators  19, MTE 20 and MTE 21 were removed as indicators because they were valid based on the validity test with a loading factor value below 0.5

Diskriminant Validity Test

The second stage is the discriminant validity test conducted to find out how far the difference in the validity value of a variable, if it is compared to other variables. One way to measure discriminant validity is to compare the correlation value of the indicator with its latent variable through output cross loading. Cross loading indicator variables must have greater value than other latent variables (Widarjono, 2015). Another way is by comparing the square root value of the average variance extracted (AVE) obtained through the correlation value among variables (Hair et al., 2010). If the square root value of the average variance extracted (AVE) of the latent variable is greater than 0.7 and greater than the correlation value with all other latent variables, it is said to have good discriminant validity. It is recommended that the AVE measurement value should be greater than 0.50. The discriminant validity in this study is seen from the correlation value between variables as described and the cross loading value as shown in Table 2. The results of the Cross Loading and AVE values are presented in Table 3.

Cross Loading

The cross loading of each indicator must have a higher loading for each latent variable measured, compared to indicators for other latent variables. The output results can be seen in the table below. The correlation of  each indicator with its variable has a higher value than the correlation of the indicator with other variables. So it can be concluded that the indicators on each variable have a good level of discriminant validity.

Table 3. Dicriminant Validity Variable Laten with Cross Loading

Matrix Cultural Contact MTE Revisit Intension Tourism English
Cc1 0.824 0.669 0.366 0.174
Cc2 0.845 0.625 0.358 0.138
Cc3 0.805 0.583 0.247 0.272
Cc4 0.705 0.538 0.503 0.401
Cc5 0.843 0.610 0.375 0.309
Cc6 0.885 0.673 0.480 0.215
Cc7 0.820 0.595 0.490 0.355
Cc8 0.858 0.696 0.440 0.290
Cc9 0.646 0.413 0.129 0.330
Cc10 0.727 0.541 0.398 0.371
Cc11 0.712 0.472 0.376 0.266
Cc12 0.800 0.701 0.848 0.283
Cc13 0.791 0.678 0.560 0.175
Cc14 0.774 0.662 0.511 0.233
MTE1 0.676 0.752 0.431 0.596
MTE2 0.483 0.713 0.469 0.612
MTE3 0.519 0.735 0.620 0.258
MTE4 0.619 0.800 0.663 0.475
MTE5 0.654 0.834 0.605 0.534
MTE6 0.740 0.783 0.422 0.493
MTE7 0.688 0.858 0.434 0.345
MTE8 0.503 0.769 0.382 0.372
MTE9 0.426 0.602 0.237 0.255
MTE10 0.677 0.755 0.494 0.414
MTE11 0.172 0.517 0.368 0.188
MTE12 0.505 0.753 0.393 0.335
MTE13 0.495 0.672 0.525 0.087
MTE14 0.481 0.741 0.522 0.305
MTE15 0.511 0.667 0.384 0.039
MTE16 0.326 0.672 0.419 0.315
MTE17 0.313 0.512 0.397 0.355
MTE18 0.529 0.659 0.223 0.467
MTE22 0.638 0.679 0.330 0.239
MTE23 0.678 0.775 0.520 0.411
MTE24 0.680 0.705 0.278 0.126
RI1 0.444 0.547 0.895 0.322
RI2 0.414 0.468 0.870 0.265
RI3 0.508 0.591 0.855 0.381
Te1 0.278 0.398 0.420 0.773
Te2 0.249 0.487 0.317 0.675
Te3 0.281 0.424 0.295 0.905
Te4 0.239 0.396 0.361 0.908
Te5 0.284 0.430 0.273 0.848
Te7 0.248 0.302 0.277 0.814
Te8 0.344 0.375 0.189 0.828

The table above indicates that the cross loading value between latent variables and their indicators is greater than the correlation values of other latent variables with these variable indicators. The variables in this study have good discriminant validity. The following table 4 shows that the AVE value of all latent variables ranges from 0.515 to 0.763, meaning that the AVE value of all variables is greater than 0.5.

Tabel 4. Diskriminan Validity Variabel Laten with AVE Value On Each Variabel Contsruct   Reliability  and  Validity

Cronbach’ Alpha Rho_A Composite Reliability Average Variance Extracted (AVE)
Cultural Contact 0.953 0.958 0.959 0.626
MTE 0.952 0.959 0.956 0.515
Revisit  Intention 0.846 0.853 0.906 0.763
Tourism English 0.920 0.923 0.937 0.681

One way to measure discriminant validity is to look at the AVE (Average Variance Extracted) value. The AVE value must be greater than 0.50, which means that all latent variables have good discriminant validity. If the AVE value is below 0.5, meaning that the latent variable does not have good discriminant validity or the variable is invalid. Based on the research results, it was found that the AVE value of each variable in this study was greater than 0.50, where the AVE value of the Cultural Contact variable was 0.626, the MTE variable was 0.515, the Revisit Intention variable was 0.763 and the Tourism English was 0.681. Thus all variables in this study have a good discriminant validity.

Composite Reliability

Composite reliability is the reliability for measuring latent variables (Hair et al., 2010). The reliability of latent variables is measured by measuring internal consistency reliability. It can be seen from the composite reliability. This reliability uses the reliability coefficient to explain the measurement model being tested. The indicator group that measures a variable has a good  composite reliability if it has a composite reliability of 0.7 even though it is not an absolute standar . In this study, the composite reliability value of all latent variables in the outer model was more than 0.7. The construct reliability test is measured by two criteria, namely composite reliability and Cronbach alpha from the indicator block that measures the construct. The construct is declared reliable if the composire reliability and Cronbach alpha values are above 0.70. The following table 5 shows that cronbach’s alpha  value  indicating that  the variable has good reliability.

Tabet 5. Nilai Reliabilitas Masing- Masing Variabel Penelitian Contsruct Reliability  and  Validiy

Cronbach’ Alpha Rho_A Com i e Reliabiliy Average Variance Ex1rac1ed (AVE)
Cultural Contact 0.953 0.958 0.959 0.626
MTE 0.952 0.959 0.956 0.515
Revisit Intention 0.846 0.853 0.906 0.763
Tourism English 0.920 0.923 0.937 0.681

Inner Model (Structural Model)

The evaluation of the structural model (inner model) aims to see the relationship between latent variables. After the outer model is evaluated and reprocessed until it is valid and reliable, an inner model is evaluated. The model suitability test is based on established criteria which is called the Goodness of Fit . The Goodness of Fit of the Inner Model is measured using the R­ square of the dependent latent variable with the same interpretation as the regression. The R­ square value is the result (in percentage) of the representation of the independent variable on the dependent variable . A good R2 value is above 0.2 (equivalent to 20%). According to Hair et al (2014), the Q-square value of 0.35 means the model is strong, 0.15 is moderate, and 0.02 means the model  is weak. The structural  model  is evaluated  using  the R-Square  for the dependent construct, the path coefficient value or the t-value for each path for the real level in hypothesis testing. The higher the R-Square value means the better the predictive model of the proposed research model (Jogiyanto, 2011). Inner model test (structural model) to see the relationship between latent is held through the following R-square test (Table 6).

Table 6. R-Square Value (R2 Value)

R Sauare
Construct R Sauare R Sauare Adjustive
Memorable tourism  exoeriences 0.664 0.649
Revisit Intention 0.383 0.370

The value of R-Square (r2) shows that the memorable tourism experiences variable can be explained by the cultural contact variable and the tourism English variable by 66.4%, the remaining 33.6% is explained by other variables that are not studied such as religion, education, ethnicity, etc., and the revisit intention variable can be explained by the memorable tourism experiences variable by 38.3%, the remaining 61.7% is explained by other variables that are not studied.

Path Coefficient Model Hypothesis Test

This  hypothesis  test   is a  causality  analysis  conducted  to  determine  the  relationship between variables. Causality analysis can be used to determine the effect that occurs between exogenous and endogenous variables. The exogenous variable is stated to  have a significant effect on endogenous variables if the p value (probability) is <0.05. Hypothesis testing is intended to test the effect of an exogenous variable on an endogenous variable or the effect of an endogenous variable on another endogenous variable. In other words, we want to test the significance of the influence of a variable that affects another affected variable. The hypothesis in this study are:

Ho: The independent variable is not significantly influenced by the dependent variable

Ha: The independent variable is significantly affected by the dependent variable

The basis for the the hypothesis test is that if the p value (probability) <0.05, HO is rejected, but if the p value (probability)> 0.05, HO is accepted.

Table Path Coeficients (Means, STDEV, T Values)

Originan Sample (o) Sample Mean Satandard Deviation (STDEV) T Statistic P Values
Cultural contact -> MTE 0.683 0.684 0.073 9.305 0.000
MTE -> Revisit intention 0.619 0.621 0.621 6.105 0.000
Tourism English -> MTE 0.270 0.295 0.295 2.654 0.008

Tourism English variable has a significant effect on the Memorable Tourism Experience variable because  the T-statistic value is 3.565> from the T-table  1.96 and the p-value is 0.000 <alpha 0.05. The Tourism English variable has a positive relationship with the Memorable Tourism Experience variable. The higher the Tourism English is, the higher the Memorable Tourism Experience variable is.


The measurements of English in relation to tourists’ revisit intention as statistically presented above show that tourism English variable has a significant effect on the Memorable Tourism Experience variable with a p-value of 0.000 <alpha 0.05. The Tourism English variable has a positive relationship to the  Memorable Tourism Experience variable. The higher the Tourism English, the higher the Memorable Tourism Experience variable. The quantitative measurements explicitly indicates that English plays an important role in developing  cultural tourism in Mentawai.

English supports cultural contact in which foreign tourists have contact with Mentawai cultural heritages (tangible and intangible heritage). The English support is the forms of cultural information on the cultural heritages. The tourists can enjoy and experience the cultural heritages in tourism activity doe to getting cultural information on the  heritage in English. With the support of English, the tourists can have emotional touch with tangible heritage elements such as traditional arrow, war shield, traditional tools, etc., and with intangible such as dances, fests, rituals, story-telling, etc.

Thus, English supports very much the tourism development in Mentawai.


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