"Leisure Economy" Moves National Economy

Indonesian people, especially millennials, now prefer to spend their time and money for entertainment and lifestyle. They choose to hang out in cafés with their friends or vacation to various tourism destinations. This phenomenon then boosts leisure economy.

What is leisure economy? This term was first used in the book The Leisure Economy: How Changing Demographics, Economics, and Generational Attitudes Will Reshape Our Lives and Our Industries by Linda Nazareth.

She wrote that leisure economy emerged due to the shift in consumption pattern from goods-based consumption to experience-based consumption. Goods are no longer the main consumption of the people, but experiences. They prioritize leisure over goods.

From here, the term "leisure economy" was born, with leisure industries starting to develop and significantly impacting the economy. Hotel occupancy keeps increasing, tourism destinations get more varied, cinemas are fully booked, cafés are everywhere, and more music concerts are held.

Data reflect this: Statistics Indonesia recorded in 2017 that room occupancy rate of classified hotels reached 64.99%, increasing by 3.28% from 2016. Moreover, Jatpat survey on 1,005 people aged 20-45 showed that 83% respondents admitted that they went torestaurants to meet with friends, 48% to spend their leisure time, and 24% to take pictures.

The unique thing about leisure economy development is that the consumers voluntarily promote their experiences. When they go to a unique restaurant or an interesting tourism spot, they take pictures then upload them to their social media without being paid to do it.

Afterward, those places will get popular through "word of mouth" or more precisely through positive reviews. This phenomenon can be seen through the development of beach destinations in the world. It turns out that quality waves can become the gold mine of tourism.

When surfers find a spot of quality waves, the economic development of the area grows by 3% in the next five years. Citing the data from Marketing magazine February 2018 edition, high-quality waves can even create economic activities worth $50 billion per year globally.

Not only beach destinations, tourism industry in general has become an important component of economy in various countries including Indonesia. In 2016, tourism sector contributed 10% to the country's GDP. Furthermore, every year, this sector grows by 4.8%-6.9%.

Leisure economy grows more expansive thanks to digital technology. Through smartphones, people can easily buy flight tickets, concert tickets, book hotels, and rent cars for transportation in their destinations.

The ease of access to book is now offered by various industries. The support of digital access is needed to become the foremost amid the tight business competition. TRAC is also aware of this. This subsidiary of PT Serasi Autoraya (SERA) in vehicle rental business also offers the convenience of online booking.

Through, consumers can book vehicles for leisure or business. Aside from this ease of access, TRAC has also developed services to fulfill people's lifestyle by offering various domestic tourism packages.

TRAC has tourism packages to various popular destinations in Indonesia. These packages include car rental, driver service, itinerary, gasoline price, toll road fee, parking fee, and travel insurance. Therefore, consumers can enjoy their vacation peacefully.

Experiences of vacationing to various tourism destinations are what people seek nowadays. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that leisure economy can boost the economy, in line with the growing "experience" consumption. It is expected that tourism industry can thrive and the wheel of economy in tourism areas can turn faster.