Author: Chan, Ying Lock
Title: Residents' attitudes toward tourism development : a case of Malacca, Malaysia
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2016
Subject: a-my---
Tourism -- Malacca, Strait of -- Public opinion.
Tourism -- Malacca, Strait of.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: 129 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Today, tourism has become a significant contributor to the economy of many countries all over the world with the developing countries in particular chasing this because it is the sector of the economy that is easiest to kick start. For historical destinations, the golden goose is to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Malacca, the destination of this study, obtained this recognition in 2008. Most UNESCO recognised destinations see an immediate surge in the number of tourists visiting it. The impact of mass tourist tourists on the destination is often swift and drastic with the whole fabric of society in that destination thrown into a dilemma as how best to manage this wave of tourist arrivals (Macnaught, 1982). This study examines the attitudes of the residents of Malacca, specifically those in the tourism related sector, toward tourism development in Malacca, to understand how and why they feel the way they do. Such a study has not been done before in Malacca and so fills a gap in this area of study. Using the qualitative approach, the study involved an in-depth interview of twenty one residents who were purposefully selected. Four positive and sixteen negative comments on Malacca.s tourism development were identified. Ten suggestions and recommendations on how Malacca.s ongoing tourism should be developed were offered by the residents. A focus group interview involving four long time residents and a special interview with an officer from the Malaysian tourism authority were also conducted to supplement the in-depth interviews. Factors influencing residents. attitudes toward tourism from other studies were reviewed. By induction together with utilising the constant comparative method of analysis, themes were identified from the findings of this study.
From the theoretical perspective, many of the findings in this study correspond with findings already established to date by various impact studies on the factors that influence residents' attitudes toward tourism development, for example factors like economic benefit, irritation caused by the presence of too many tourists and the competition between residents and tourists for the same resources. Two new findings arose from this study. The first is the strong feeling of pride in Malacca by the residents and the strong sense of nostalgia for Malacca's history that seems to have influenced this attitude. The second is the widespread criticism of the government's tourism policies, in particular the impact of the government's social policies on the attitudes of the Chinese residents who feel they have been excluded. This study is considered useful for the Malacca state tourism authority because the findings can help it manage its future tourism development strategies to ensure that their objectives are aligned with the residents' needs and expectations. Only when this alignment of goals is achieved can a destination's tourism be considered to be successful and sustainable. This study is also useful for other heritage tourist destinations that have similar characteristics to Malacca and that are also developing their tourism sector. However, the study has its limitations. The major limitation is the narrow selection of residents, only those working in the tourism related sector and who are in direct contact with tourist tourists in their ordinary course of work. In fact, most Malacca residents are not in contact with the touristsbut their lives are nevertheless affected by the impact of the tourist tourists' presence in the destination e.g. overcrowding, traffic jams and competing for similar resources. The residents' attitudes found in the study could possibly be more and different if the other residents not in the tourism sector were to be included. Consequently, there are opportunities for future research such as to find out the attitudes of a wider scope of residents, not just of those who are in direct contact with the tourist tourists. A deeper investigation into the attitudes of residents according to their respective races can also be a useful research study for the state tourism authority, to help it develop a more harmonious tourism strategy.
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