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Malaysia is a central of constitutional monarchy system in Southeast Asia. It is based on 13 states and three federal territories and has a total large are of land of 329,847Â square kilometres. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur while Putrajaya is the base of the federal government. The population in 2009 is at over 28 million.
Since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with Gross Domestic Product growing an average 6.5% for the first 50 years of independence. It is an institution member of the Association of Southeast Asian Country and the Organization of Islamic Conference, and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement. The economy of the country has traditionally been established by its natural resources, but is now also expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.
It has a diversity range of flora and fauna, and is considered one of the 17 different parts of countries. Malaysia is a impressive diverse country, with a great number of species. Two of three parts of Malaysia in large land of trees with a high quantity of lowland arise below an altitude of 760Â meters. Like Borneo, East Malaysia was originally covered with lowland rainforests even though it is largely has been cleared causing most of the wildlife to escape into the upland rainforest. Rainforests in Malaysia are made of different types of living variety, mainly dipterocarp forests. The forest is the existing place of the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia which also has a unique unpleasant smell. Due to the declination of forests in Malaysia, the government has taken actions to solve the problem. Malaysian forests also consists of 1450 square mangroves in different parts of area.
1.2 Background of the Study
Malaysia is known for it's richness in different perspectives of natural landscapes and environment especially among all the national parks. Tourism has becoming one of the most important elements in contributing into Malaysia's economy sector.
Malaysia has some of the best national parks ready to be explored for its breathtaking view and inspiring landscape.
However, there are disappointments especially among Malaysians that do not see local national parks as a place to spend their holidays. Most Malaysians prefer anything else but having an engagement with the nature. People are still looking nature parks as an unexciting place to spend their holidays. Instead, it is more popular among foreign tourists. The reason why we Malaysians do not appreciate the nature that we have, it is because Malaysians do care less about nature. We are not educated enough about the importance of preserving the nature and understanding the concept of natural tourism.
1.3 Problem Statements
Ecotourism among youths in Malaysia is always the poor relation of tourism. Due to the growing travel eagerness and power spending among young people has recently brought ecotourism to a failing attraction among youths. The tourism market among young people is mainly attracted to materialistic aspect like shopping and dining for a much higher cost. The problem is based on various aspects of youths, starting with the young people that are not exposed enough to ecotourism. Young generations in Malaysia are not taught to love the environment since small. They are only concentrated on academic wise and ignoring the importance of keeping our nature spirit alive. Young people in recent time are not adventurous in traveling while in fact they are many destinations in Malaysia to be visit.
When people are no longer interested in ecotourism, people who are actually involved in ecotourism are lacking in their duties due to no support in financially and economically by the tourism ministry. They tend to loose interest in taking care of the ecotourism places and is not taken care of. The tourism ministry in Malaysia is not in fact being very supportive and not changing perceptions of social class boundaries. They are not taking any supportive action to improve ecotourism among young generation
1.4 Research Objectives
The objective of this study is to acknowledge the relationship between educational background and the effective aspect based on ecotourism among Malaysian youths.
To mark the stage of exploration regarding the theme of ecotourism for Malaysian youths.
To study the purpose in incorporating the ideas of youths view the range of vision and maintenance to the community.
Provide young people a chance to volunteer and adapt to new surroundings and get equally comfortable with their surroundings through ecotourism.
To require an opportunity to select an environment in variety and work together with the nature also teach exciting learning of environment for our future generations.
To search the involvement of youths in Malaysia guided by using quantitative methodology.
To provide the importance of ecotourism by adding implications and develop planning and practice.
Understanding the awareness among Malaysian youths in ecotourism, also increase an improvement in understanding responsible ecotourism destinations and better managed to the world.
1.5 Research Questions
Does level of knowledge affect the awareness level of Malaysian youths towards Ecotourism?
Does educational background affect the awareness level of Malaysian youths towards Ecotourism?
Why do Malaysian youths are not responsible in Ecotourism?
How does the Ministry of Tourism being supportive to Ecotourism?
1.6 Hypothesis Statement
Shell Malaysia Sustainable Development (SD) Grants Programme (2008) seeks to assist qualifying Malaysia-based NGOs, local academic institutions, schools, societies and individuals in executing their SD initiatives. They conduct an environmental conservation projects to conserve biodiversity, natural resources and ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, mangroves, coral reefs, and aerial in nature. The company is doing this to increase environmental awareness amongst the youth who live within the environmental heritage of Tanjung Kupang. Kelab Alami is a club build for the youth of Mukim Tg Kupang, Gelang Patah, Johor. The club works to increase environmental awareness amongst the young of this area so that they can understand and appreciate the natural heritage that is their backyard. Not only are they engaged in a constant series of environmental education programs, but they are trained as Youth Rangers who monitor the surrounding ecosystems and conduct regular habitat studies and experiments in the sea grass and mangroves also guided by scientist advisors. They are also trained as ecotourism guides for visiting schools or tourists so that they can share their environment with others.
According to Richards (2005) of ISTC/UNWTO he implies that the movement of in young people in higher education is an important source of income in many countries. Many countries mentioned the relationship between tourism and the wide range
of student exchange programme in operation scheme for intercultural exchange for university students. A link was also made between student travel and special interests related to the area of study, such as cultural heritage and architecture, which are important markets for the country. Student tourism also refers to
Local People Are Benefited
Education & Interpretation Is a Major Component
Unpolluted area rich in Biodiversity
Learning experience for youths
Flora / Fauna Adventure Sports
High spending tourists
Supports local Economy
Conserve local heritage
travel by schoolchildren, often related to learning about the history and culture of their own country. According to Richards, youth travel are well integrated in Malaysia, under the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005), student tourism has become a priority development area:
In view of the tremendous potential for education tourism and student tourism, greater efforts were made to promote Malaysia as a centre of educational excellence. During the review period, a Committee on Education Tourism was established to spearhead the development of education tourism, which includes marketing and promotion of education as well as the facilitation of administrative procedures for students and parents. Apart from participating in nine educational promotion activities organized by international agencies, Malaysia also conducted a total of 15 exhibitions and road shows in selected countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions.
Students are often viewed as a low income market, for which special provision needs to be made in terms of discounted tourism services.
As stated by Manurung R. (2000) about the awareness in raising an education towards youth and the effective planning in Effort Improvement Several criteria.
He agreed that it must be deal with an issue in planning ecotourism development specifically the different uniqueness of natural experiences like ecosystem and geographical area for flora and fauna. He also stated that infrastructure in Malaysia are often lack of care with limited transport to ecotourism destinations, dividing departments of local land, threats to the ecosystem and the society's acceptance of tourists. According to M.R. Yacob, A. Radam (2009), there are three institutional central figure involved in promoting tourism and ecotourism. The government, the private sector and the society. The government is related through the Ministries of Transportation and Telecommunication, the State Ministry for Tourism and Arts, the Environmental Impact Management Agency and local government. The government is the highest organization of tourism development, while travel agents, and other component part are the implementation of the body. The central government encourage the visual of diversity in Malaysia as a whole, but every area of organization has the power to do promotion of their own products. The movement between the three figures must be increased as the State Ministry for Tourism and Arts could not handle all tourism issues. However, the new characteristic political figure does not mean that the central government is free from duty to tourism, considering that tourism development is dimensional, subjective and component system. Restricted supply of funs, unorganized use of funds, safety precaution problems and the infrequency of leaders in government who have high levels of dedication and motivation to handle tourism development are simulative. The lack of professional resources and promotional funds are concerns. Even more, every challenge is seen as an opportunity. Promotion of tourist attractions or destinations must be increased, especially because of the poor image of Malaysia at the moment in the eyes of potential tourists. Promotion should be reasonable and standardized, for if the real situation is different to show by the promotion, it would only worsen the image of the whole country. Hence, M.R. Yacob, A. Radam (2009) stated that by being part of Asian nations, it can be used to promote ecotourism in Malaysia. In ecotourism, the officials of State Minister of Environment work together in managing environmental level, also being responsible for distinctive natural policy. In another point, Potential Impact Management Agency was set up to participate in ecotourism resources between two marine parks in Peninsular Malaysia. Because of this, this research approximate the value of ecotourism resources by using environmental economic devices features dependent method. Visitors are willing to pay by the research result that it may provide official advice to marine parks and to help develop management policies that improve ecotourism contribution to sustainable development in Malaysia. Abdullah M., Kamaruzaman J., Altaf H.S., Amat R.Y. (2008) together made a research on local community in their participation in ecotourism activities and resource protection and in protected areas that can be pursued through working together in the same management. Currently, the natural resources are degrading due to unselective use by the locals and visitors mainly in the form of exceeding the limits and tourism unsuitable activities. The study investigates the problems that affected natural resources and local community involvement in management to make things with such problem. MFC Jamil, BS Nor'Aini Yusof (2010) stated that the investigations that the relationship between organizational culture and financial performance of small and medium-sized enterprises in ecotourism area are affected. R.A. Aziz (2009) claims that general domestic tourism has been boosted by the increasing number of corporate retreats, family recreation, youth camps held at various tourist destinations around the country, the more affordable domestic air travel to various local destinations. The various affordable package tours being introduced and promoted to sustain interests and attract local as well as foreign tourists besides shopping, sports and recreational activities. The tourism products and services include cultural and heritage including geological tourism, eco-tourism, agro-tourism, homestay programme, thematic events and meeting incentives, and health tourism to cater to the varying interests and preferences. Infrastructure and communication facilities are expanded and upgraded. Road, rail, air and sea transportation improved. A total of approximately RM1.8 billion has been allocated under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to further develop and enhance Malaysia tourism industry. However, promoting heritage tourism could have environmental costs physically, socially and culturally. If it is not well-managed and regulated, heritage exploitation and consumption approach adopted in the pursuit for 'tourist dollars' has created irreparable damage to the physical character of many heritage places and sites. Development and construction of various tourist-related facilities and infrastructures near or sometime within the heritage resource itself - have also contributed to the damage of the social and economic structure of the area where the heritage is located. Amran Hamah (2004) stated that an educational tourism programme was developed by MOCAT and the Ministry of Education in 2001 to encourage local travel through the establishment of tourism clubs in schools. By doing so, students are being targeted as the catalyst to persuade their families to travel more regularly within the country. Recently, this Program Pelancongan Pelajar or Students Tourism Programme (PPP) has managed to attract tour operators as partners in the implementation and promotion of the programme. Potentially, this programme could be extended to include educational establishments and tourism destinations within the region. In the long run, it would be able to encourage more social contact and cultural exchanges as well as understanding between the youths in the region. There are weaknesses and opportunities of Malaysia's tourism industry.
The weakness is its 'low yield' economic return, forced upon by the underselling of hotel rates, hence affecting the profit margin of most 4 to 5 star hotels. Consequently, the low profit margin has affected HRD and training and hotel refurbishment programmes, which in turn, has affected service quality. At sensitive areas such as islands and hill resorts, environmental degradation has also worsened over the last few years due to the lack of management and enforcement. Until the economic outlook for hoteliers improve, the tourism industry is expected to play safe and 'keep what they have' rather than embark on cross-border selling of tour packages.
As mentioned earlier, the opportunities for multi destination or cross border tourism have been vastly improved by the advent of budget airlines which are able to profitable serve destinations. In addition, the branding associated with World Heritage Sites and the growing interest in themed tours also provides new opportunities for intra regional travel. In the long term, youth travel within the country and possibly within the region will not only boost Asian cohesion but also develop a travelling culture amongst the nation and region' s youth. In turn, the social benefit of youth travel has the potential to be transformed into an economic benefit in the future. Another main reason for their reluctance to be actively involved in tourism is the lack of mechanism for direct revenue capture given that almost all income from tourism are channelled back to the Federal government coffers. During a conference for youth tourism M. T. Mirza (2005) only focused on Japanese students by staying at Malaysian Homestay Association. The local young people is neglected and not supported by the Youth Organization. J. Jamil, M. Badaruddin, P. Ahmad (2007) developed an allocation by the Central government is more focused on physical developments such as road infrastructure, housing estates and public facilities in Penang Island. This scenario makes the tourism sector "being left behind" and its status is not guaranteed as the infrastructure construction is still been given the first priority. Competition of space and land use between infrastructure project and tourism attraction are always stiff. However, physical infrastructure will always take the lead. The government has no initiative to make replacement or maintenance work if the tourism areas are damaged or intruded by other physical economic developments. In Penang Island a survey result shows, out of seven tourist attractions that have been taken over for infrastructure development, only one have been replaced or given an alternative tourist site.
1.7 Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
Target Market Economy Impact
1.8 Significance of the Study
The suggestion that is put forward to have significance in spite of the fact that the study in ecotourism among youth in Malaysia is much related to the roots of heritage and cultural aspect. It gives an impact towards economy and local environment. The development of ecotourism programmes among youth is an area that has received non-sufficient treatment both in theory and practice. The recreation field is used for the purpose of demonstrating fundamental differences between young explorer and young tourists. Ecotourism services are to develop meaningful programmes, utilize a recreation in satisfying the future generations as well as profitable organization. This will guide to professionalism in conducting an appropriate ecotourism programme including establishment of the sustainable design of ecotourism.
1.9 Scope and Limitations
The scope for this study mainly based on ecotourism industry that is growing fast in Malaysia in the 21st century. The importance of this sector to the economy of a developing country like Malaysia is significant, but difficult to measure with any precision. According to Malaysian Tourism Industry, young travellers grew from 14.6% in 1980 to 20% in 2001, and had been projected to reach 25% by 2005. As a matter of fact, youth travel is believed to be the fastest growing travel market segment, surpassing even ecotourism and cultural tourism. Mirza Mohammad Taiyab (2005). Ecotourism in Malaysia is a way to travel with definitions including an element of education and far from being uninhabited wilderness. The tourist accommodation is likewise sited some distance from the village, and is built in the traditional style using local materials taking advantages of any breeze. This study will look into the governmental issue of kind of infrastructure they build for ecotourism market.
The limitation was the sources to be found. The searches were done by Google Scholar with journals and articles, KDU Library and online book. Research for references were very limited as the topic above does not fulfil full requirement online. Besides, several journals and articles need to be purchased or log in as a member in order to read.
2.1 Literature Review
Definition of Ecotourism
People among youths travel and explore inside the country and other country for holiday. The are several purposes to travel by visiting friends, on holiday, study abroad, understand different cultures as well as for relaxation and adventure. Youth travel is a part of their process of changes to adulthood. Young people who are used to stay at home youth travel is considered as an additional segment of the education process which familiarize youths with their own country. The definition of youth travel market figure in ecotourism is not widely accepted due to the lack of seen through quality in measuring its size and characteristics. Youth travelers are recognized today as a great value to make an important contribution to the local economy. By visiting new places in their own country, they can develop personal skills, social connection and cultural chain in their search for new experience. The youth travel market in ecotourism can be divided into two categories. A youth travel that depends on their own self and youth travel with a number of people sharing experience together. Youth group travel consists of a group of six or more young people traveling together. A few experienced people in the industry has divide an additional to the youth group travel component into two groups. Youth which travel in groups in school also often referred to as student travel and also youth which travels in a group outside school. School-based youth group travel is specifically authorized by the sponsoring school, school board or school district.
Based on a study by Opperman (1992), he claimed that until the year of 1990, after 15 years of implementation of the Tourism Master Plan, tourism development was still unequally distributed amongst the region as suggested. Rapid development are more accumulate in West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia than on the East Coast. King (1993) however stated that Sabah and Sarawak were far behind in attracting tourists. Leong (1997) claimed that the disparity of tourism development among the region of tourists was caused by lack promoting in the tourism market. According to Din (1982) he also noted that the plan has a small reference to the (New Environmental Paradigm) NEP in terms of suggesting how would the government agencies play their role to encourage Bumiputeras to get involve in tourism industry. The criticism has been responded by the federal government and in 1990 National Development Policy (NDP) has been launched. The NDP also stressed on the importance of nationally integrated development. The strategies were brought from NEP objectives to eradicate poverty and restructure national society. Sixth Malaysia Plan (1995) proposed a two-pronged strategy of tourism development to increase foreign tourists inflows and to promote domestic tourists to reduce foreign exchange outflows on account of Malaysian travelers. The loss of many invaluable heritage by beeing natural and cultural seem to lead by the process of too many old buildings and monuments are destroyed to make way for new and modern ones. However, promoting heritage tourism could have environmental costs physically, socially and culturally if it is not well-managed and regulated. In many developing countries heritage exploitation and consumption approach adopted in the pursuit for tourists has created irreparable damage to the physical character of many heritage places and sites.
Development and construction of various tourist-related facilities and infrastructures - near or sometime within the heritage resource itself - have also contributed to the damage of the social and economic structure of the area where the heritage is located. Since the identified heritage are the very basis for the heritage tourism in the first place, it is important to rehabilitate, conserve, protect and even preserve those heritage. In so doing the natural or cultural resources would not be damaged or run down and thus could benefit future generations. Also, to do so would not only be in accordance with the objectives of sustainable development, but would also facilitate the inherent characteristics of the different areas besides promoting sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism being defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the
geographical character of a place - its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the wellbeing of its inhabitants (World Heritage Alliance Principles). Such tourism would help preserve both the environmental integrity of the sites as well as the cultural heritage of surrounding communities. Sustainable tourism also contribute to the sustainability of the local economies where livelihoods are often based on the cultivation of their natural environment and the income from the tourist industry.
Most local communities in tourist destinations are enthusiastic to participate in tourism activities. Tosun (2006) found that the majority (more than 80 percent) of the local community in a local destination would like to take the leading role as entrepreneurs and workers at all levels, besides encouraging other locals to invest in and work for the tourism industry. Confidence, support and motivation must come from the participants and authority in ensuring the sustainability of the homestay project. Obviously, not every form of community participation can contribute to the realization of the expected benefits of tourism.
In fact, most of the homestay projects in Malaysia require participation of not just the host family but the whole community including the school children and the youth club. For example, school children participate in the greeting ceremony as kompang players (a traditional musical instrument) while members of the youth club organise the traditional games demonstration. As a result, the homestay program helps in maintaining the traditional values of team work that creates the feeling of togetherness as well as nourishes social values within the community. The youths, and children may also generate their own income by taking part in cultural activities such as playing traditional musical instruments and performing dances.
Melaka International Youth Dialogue (2007) organized by the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) bring young people and youth leaders together from around the world to discuss themes including globalization and human capital development. MIYD selected a realization of the vast opportunities available to young people in ecotourism sector. Their objective is to:
Develop youth policies and laws to enhance youth participation in tourism sector
Create an enabling environment for youth participation in tourism sector
Establish credit schemes to provide soft loans for youth who are already in the industry and tourism industry player.
According to Dr T. Shanka, J. Musca (1998) more Malaysians (46%) took day trips compared with Singaporean students who took overnight trips (53%). Respondents from Malaysia (35%) or single (30%) or those aged between 20-24 years of age (31%) also would recommend the Albany/Esperance region overnight trips. Based on a supporting element of research by Dr. Prakorb Phon-ngam (2007) Youth tourism has a long history in Malaysia. Young people independently travel through the networks of youth hostel and railways for their own pleasure. Tourists can even check in for short courses in university campus, they could choose to stay in university dormitory, hostel, or with host family. As for Malaysian tourism planning research group, 2006, Youth Tourism becomes very important in many countries around the world, as can be seen recently, there was a Youth Tourism conference in Malaysia on May 3rd to May 5th 2006, organized by the Tourism of Malaysia. The main focuses of the conference were to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences with all the best practices in relation to youth tourism. By establishing youth ecotourism to identify problems, issues and prospects are in as a focus area for the ecotourism industry and to recommend policies. All the product development programs and strategic marketing approaches the youth to improve the quality of youth ecotourism as a commercial venture as well as a catalyst for cultural exchange and regional integration.
3.1 General Methodology
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MALAYSIAN DEVELOPMENT AGENDA TOWARDS NATUREBASED
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Dr Tekle Shanka and Mr John Musca
Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference 1998
AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF
INVOLVEMENT IN DOMESTIC TOURISM
- A WEST AUSTRALIAN CASE
Dr. Prakorb Phon-ngam
Vice President for International Affairs and Quality Assurance (2007)
GMS Discoveries: Borderless Issues for Regional Strengthening
and Sustainable Development