Borobudur Temple as Buddhist Pilgrimage Destination in Indonesia: an Analysis of Factors that Affect Visit Intention


  • Budi Hermawan Brawijaya University
  • Ubud Salim
  • Fatchur Rohman
  • Mintarti Rahayu


Pilgrimage, Borobudur, Sacredness, Destination Image, Visit Intention


Borobudur temple is the biggest Buddhist temple on earth which is located in Central Java, Indonesia. The temple which was built by King Smaratungga between 760 until 830 A.D., recently becomes cultural and historical tourism object run by Indonesian government. The temple was actually the symbol of Buddhism renaissance (resurgence) in Indonesia. This was marked by the first national Vesak celebration initiated by The Boan An (whom was later known as Ashin Jinarakkitha) in May 23rd, 1953. Until today the temple is used as the place of national Vesak celebration every year, and occasionally for several Buddhist religious events. The governor of Central Java and Minister Rizal Ramli (2015) consider that Borobudur temple can become a Buddhism Religious object comparable to Mecca for the Moslem. The amount of tourists visited Borobudur temple as a cultural and historical tourism destination increased significantly from 2009 to 2013. However, foreign tourists were outnumbered by domestic visitors. This research is aimed (1) to find out the factors that affect the visit intention of foreign tourists to Borobudur temple; (2) to find out whether there are differences in factors affecting visit intentions among Buddhist foreign visitors and non-Buddhist foreign visitors; and (3) to find out whether there are differences in factors affecting visit intentions to Borobudur temple among foreign visitors that had ever visited the temple and those who had never visited the temple. This research uses survey method with questionnaire as the main instrument. Questionnaires were distributed to 200 respondents, and 117 returned. From these, only 98 were valid. In depth interview was carried out as additional instrument to enrich the discussion of this research. The results of this research shows that visit intention of foreign tourists was affected by two factors, namely the sacredness and the image of tourist destination. The sacredness of the temple of Borobudur can enhance the visit intention of Buddhist foreign visitors, meanwhile non-Buddhist visitors were not affected by this factor. For foreign visitors that had never visited the temple of Borobudur, the sacredness of the temple of Borobudur becomes a special attracting factor that enhances their intention to visit the temple. For those foreign tourists who had ever visited the temple before, the sacredness of Borobudur no longer become the main factor to revisit Borobudur. The sacredness factor of the temple of Borobudur in fact produces different images of the destination in minds of Buddhist foreign tourists and of non-Buddhist tourists. Foreign tourists view that sacredness factor increases the tourism destination image of Borobudur temple as a religious tourist destination. This tourism destination image of Borobudur temple becomes the stimulus for foreign tourists to revisit the temple. Meanwhile for those who had never visited the Borobudur temple, tourism destination image not automatically becomes the driving factor to visit the Borobudur temple.Visits to Borobudur temple are considered as pilgrimage visits for Buddhist foreign visitors. The sacredness of the temple becomes a special attracting factor that boost the intention to visit of foreign visitors. Indonesian government is advised to consider a policy that provides the discretion in the use of the temple as the center of Buddhist activities. The management of Borobudur temple should reconsider the possibility of repositioning the Borobudur temple as religious tourism destination.


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How to Cite

Hermawan, B. ., Salim, U. ., Rohman, F. ., & Rahayu, M. . (2016). Borobudur Temple as Buddhist Pilgrimage Destination in Indonesia: an Analysis of Factors that Affect Visit Intention. Journal of International Buddhist Studies, 7(2). Retrieved from