Scholarly article on topic 'Assessing the Situational Analysis of Heritage Tourism Industry in Melaka'

Assessing the Situational Analysis of Heritage Tourism Industry in Melaka Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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{conservation / "situational analysis" / heritage / culture / tourism / Melaka}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Zerafinas binti Abu Hassan, Mohd Abdul Kadir bin Jailani, Faizah Abd. Rahim

Abstract Conservationists propose a stringent approach in protecting heritage site from possible adverse effects such as damage, pollution, and social issues. Yet, promoters of tourism eagerly want to sell out this highly potential locality for what it worth. Thus, this paper has set the objectives to look into i) the current heritage tourism trend in Melaka World Heritage City, ii) to evaluate the current marketing strategies that has been used, and iii) to measure the tourist perception for the heritage tourism in case study of tourism Melaka. Adopting several key marketing tools such as PESTEL, SWOT/TOWS, this research finding is essential in providing sustainable approach to benefit both stakeholders; the conservationists and promoters of heritage tourism. On top of that, to measure the successfulness of current strategies, perception of tourists on Melaka heritage tourism is analyzed using the mean test. Overall results from these tests provide a glimpse of ideas, both from service providers and tourists’ point of views.

Academic research paper on topic "Assessing the Situational Analysis of Heritage Tourism Industry in Melaka"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 130 (2014) 28 - 36

INCOMaR 2013

Assessing the Situational Analysis of Heritage Tourism Industry in


Zerafinas binti Abu Hassan, Mohd Abdul Kadir bin Jailani, Faizah Abd. Rahim*

Arshad Ayub Graduate School, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia


Conservationists propose a stringent approach in protecting heritage site from possible adverse effects such as damage, pollution, and social issues. Yet, promoters of tourism eagerly want to sell out this highly potential locality for what it worth. Thus, this paper has set the objectives to look into i) the current heritage tourism trend in Melaka World Heritage City, ii) to evaluate the current marketing strategies that has been used, and iii) to measure the tourist perception for the heritage tourism in case study of tourism Melaka. Adopting several key marketing tools such as PESTEL, SWOT/TOWS, this research finding is essential in providing sustainable approach to benefit both stakeholders; the conservationists and promoters of heritage tourism. On top of that, to measure the successfulness of current strategies, perception of tourists on Melaka heritage tourism is analyzed using the mean test. Overall results from these tests provide a glimpse of ideas, both from service providers and tourists' point of views.

© 2014 The Authors. Published by ElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of INCOMaR 2013. Keywords: conservation, situational analysis, heritage, culture, tourism, Melaka

1. Introduction

Palmer in Sorensen and Carman (2009) states that heritage tourism enables people to conceive imagine and authenticates their national imagination. Visits to heritage places may encourage visitors including locals to take pride in their nation's history. Orbasli (2000) quotes that heritage provokes a sense of being part of and belonging to place and community in the individuals.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +6012-5250203 E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of INCOMaR 2013. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.04.004

Promoters and conservationists are always tipping their toes when the issue of sustainability marketing for heritage tourism is in discussion. On one hand, promoters' job is to market the venue as a highly compelling site to visit, but in the other hand, conservationists are afraid of the adverse effects brought by excessive tourism activities to the heritage site. On the same note, there is no doubt that the commercialization of heritage can generate revenue to help conserve heritage resources, but for this to happen there have to be measures to facilitate this transfer of funds. Too often, income from publicly owned heritage simply disappears into general budgets, rather than being reinvested in the heritage resources themselves (Swarbrooke, 2002). In the case of Melaka, a unique local competitiveness creates a strong foundation for heritage tourism in the state to flourish. Tourism Melaka has been tapping this advantage and put this industry as a main propeller for Melaka GDP growth. With the inscription of Banda Hilir as World Heritage Site (WHS) by UNESCO, Melaka will face dilemma of 'chicken and egg' in choosing either commercialization or conservation of heritage (tangible and intangible) in Melaka.

Thus, to understand and formulate solution for this problem, this study is focused to find answers based on the following objectives:

1. To identify the external factors that influence marketing strategies for heritage tourism in Melaka

2. To study the internal strengths and weaknesses that contribute towards building marketing strategy as a key functional area in Melaka Tourism

3. To analyze sustainable approach for Melaka heritage tourism industry

2. Research Design and Methodology

People are tending to visit attractive places and have an intention to experience others' cultures, to understand the lifestyle, and discover the uniqueness of other country. Despite the emerging of the tourism market around the world, it has given impact directly or indirectly to the heritage both to tangible and intangible heritage product. It has been identified there is a gap between commercialization and conservation of both products based on the journal that has been written previously. The academic construct summarizes the whole analyses process. The analyses commence from SWOT analysis, followed by the PESTEL analysis to understand the situational factors, internal and external analysis. The components of the marketing plan were explained by using 7ps marketing Mix. As part of research objective 3, questionnaires are used to study people (tourists) perception towards heritage tourism.

Due to the nature of this research is more consultative in nature; the conclusive research design was adopted throughout this study. The research is confined to a case study. Primary and secondary data were gathered and analyzed by using strategic marketing tools. The usage of strategic marketing tools over the primary and secondary data will established a data that can be used to analyze the connection between commercialization with conservation towards sustainable marketing of heritage tourism.

3. Findings

To answer Objective 1, research has used PESTEL and SWOT analysis in indentifying the strength, weakness, opportunities & threat and also the external factors has provide information on identifying the external factors that influence the marketing strategies. Results indicated that Melaka has been a preferred tourist location in heritage tourism sector resulted from the political stability. Having UNESCO World Heritage status, gives Melaka extra boost to its award winning strengths. Cultural diversity, multiculturalism and ample accommodation make Melaka city is a good choice to visit. More development opportunities have been offered which may bring more economic stability in the state that creates more opportunities for local people. It can be said that from the findings, the local people in Melaka has gain advantage result of the growth of tourism. Therefore, the used of both methods of analysis has help to answer Objective 1 which is to understand the current industry trend for heritage tourism in Melaka.

For Objective 2, several notable findings were found including, but not limited to, the booming interest in heritage and cultural tourisms has helped the tourism agency to develop more products in order to promote the interest among the local and also international tourist. Since been crowned as one of the heritage cities, the tourism industry has contributes more in the state revenue yearly. Besides offering the heritage and historical monuments,

Melaka tourism is also offering several tourism products that may be able to attract foreign and local tourist to come and visit Melaka. A reasonable price as regards to accommodation, goods and services has attracted international and local tourist where there is no issue of overpricing due to governance control on the price of goods and services. The authenticity of the pre-war buildings, heritage sites and monuments that has significant historical background intrigues these tourists. The uniqueness of local commodity has attracted them to experience both tangible and intangible cultural product. More advance promotion has been done by Tourism of Melaka by using electronic and social media approach and still implementing the traditional way of promotions. Friendly and have an ability to speak in multi-language has become the main point when talking about people in Melaka which is full with custom and demeanor has giving the tourist living experience in the society. Therefore, the used of 7ps Marketing mix to see how the variable takes place in its marketing strategies are useful to answer objective 2 to study the internal strengths and weaknesses that contributes towards building marketing strategy as a key functional area in Melaka Tourism.

Table 3.1:SWOT/ TOWS matrix analysis

SWOT/TOWS MATRIX STRENGTH 1. World Heritage Tours 2. Cultural diversity 3. Multiculturalism 4. Transportation i.e good accessibility 5. Accommodation 6. Entertainment places 7. Multilanguage WEAKNESS 1. Lack of parking areas 2. Walkway unavailability

OPPORTUNITY 1. Malacca International Airport i.e budget carriers 2. Malaysia My Second Home programmed 3. New premium outlets 4. Medical tourism Education tourism S-O 1. Develop comprehensive tour package airport to airport (S1, S4, S5, S6, O1) 2. Develop collaborated tourism products with healthcare providers (S1, S2, S3, O3, O4) W-O 1. Develop efficient public transportation services (W1, W2, O1, O3)

THREAT 1. Environmental degradation 2. Damage on the heritage building 3. Emergence of new tourism attraction in other country such as Bangkok from Thailand, and Bali from Indonesia. S-T 1. Develop separate heritage zone for commercialization and gazette area (S1, S2, T1, T2) 2. Develop comprehensive and interesting education products for heritage tourism (S2, S3, S6, S7. T3) W-T 1. Build walkway around existing main road for easy excess (W1, W2, T1, T2)

Objective 3 was more focused on quantifying both frequency and mean analyses on tourists' perceptions towards heritage tourism in Melaka. In answering this objective, findings and analyses are based on set of questionnaires answered by 150 sample size at several locations within core zone of heritage site.

Table 3. 2: Demographic profile of respondents (N=150)

Description Frequency Percentage

Country of Origin

Malaysia 60 40.0

Taiwan 17 11.3

Singapore 16 10.7

Thailand 13 8.7

Australia 10 6.7

Philippines 9 6.0

China 9 6.0

India 7 4.7

United Kingdom 4 2.7

Japan 3 2.0

New Zealand 2 1.3

< 20 1 0.7

21-30 72 48.0

31-40 64 42.7

41-50 8 5.3

> 51 5 3.3


Male 85 56.7

Female 65 43.3

Marital Status

Single 73 48.7

Married 73 48.7

Divorced 4 2.7


Primary 5 3.3

Secondary 23 15.3

Bachelor Degree 101 67.3

Master Degree 16 10.7

Doctorate 5 3.3


Management 54 36.0

Entrepreneur 10 6.7

Professional 76 50.7

Clerical 6 4.0

Student 4 2.7

Mean analyses (using 4-interval as measurement) showed high degree of awareness, appreciation, and they played an active role in preserving the local heritage. The perception levels may be varies, but high values of mean indicating good response amongst sample group on issues of heritage tourism. Based on the analysis that had been done, it indicates that Melaka has scored high marks which prove the exclusivity of Melaka as preferred tourist location in heritage tourism sector. It's a well known brand couple with UNESCO status give extra boost to its award winning strength.

Table 3.3: Melaka as Tourists' Attraction

Description Frequency Percentage

Source of Information

Friend and relative 61 40.7

Magazine 23 15.3

Travel agency 9 6.0

Tourism fair 17 11.3

Website 40 26.7

Frequency of Visit

First time 44 29.3

2-4 times 71 47.3

5 times and more 35 23.3

Reason for Visit

Business 16 10.7

Heritage and culture 27 18.0

Holiday and relaxation 76 50.7

Recommended by friends 10 6.7

Visiting relative and friends 21 14.0

Perception on Cleanliness

Excellent 66 44.0

Good 62 41.3

Average 17 11.3

Bad 2 1.3

Very poor 3 2.0

Willingness to Visit Again

Yes definitely 129 86.0

Maybe 20 13.3

Never 1 0.7

Recommendation for Others to Come

Yes definitely 135 90.0

Maybe 14 9.3

Never 1 0.7

Overall Satisfaction

Excellent 72 48.0

Good 68 45.3

Average 10 6.7

Table 3.4: Summary of Mean on Tourists' Perception towards Heritage Tourism in Melaka

Perception Mean

I am respectful of local's custom and traditions 3.56

I see visitors get excited about local cultural heritage 3.55

I feel good about the way we are caring for cultural heritage 3.35

I believe in preservation of one's cultural heritage 3.36

I believe reduce looting and vandalism of cultural historic and religious

sites is important 3.38

I believe in maintaining a distinctive main street architecture 3.41

I believe international tourist try being very respectable in preserving

of one's cultural heritage 3.29

My holiday experience is better when I have learned as much as possible

about my destination's cultural heritage 3.39

My holiday experience is better when I'm doing something authentic 3.42

4. Conclusion

The state of Melaka has been on high ride from tourists' receipt, which contributes around 46.59% of state gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 (Tourism Melaka Report, 2013). With not much natural resources to harness economically, state government rely heavily on tourism industry as one of catalyze for local development. The nature of development at a tourist destination is shape by the demand for tourism in the country.

It is shape by, inter alia, tourism opportunities, which a mix of attractions, and for a destination to be successful, it is important to deliver a quality product and experience. In this regards, careful planning and management, based on sustainable principles, are necessary for tourism development. Some economic activities depend on tourism for their survival, e.g. tourist accommodation, travel agencies, and long-distance passenger transport. Other activities such as restaurants and bars, car rental services, entertainment and attraction services also tend to rely strongly on tourism. The dependency of certain activities or enterprises on tourism may also depend on their location. Thus the supply of tourism activities comprises diverse economic activities, and when presented as a sector, it is very heterogeneous, encompassing different activities, some of which are directly dependent on tourism and others only partly. The multiplier effects of state tourism are higher post-UNESCO inscription in term of investment of new hotels and retail outlets, job creations, as well as infrastructure development. However, over dependent on tourism sector may create adverse effects especially on heritage site, in term of degeneration of building, damages to heritage area, overcrowding, and pollution.

Huibin, Marzuki, & Razak (2012) also support this finding, that cultural heritage tourism is the biggest attraction for international tourists, which in turn is a major source of foreign income exchange. For example, during tourism development in many cultural heritage sites, when rapid economic growth and great social development have been gained, some social pressure and environmental problems follow (Huibin, Marzuki, & Razak, 2012).

As defined in literature review, Endresen (1999) asserts that sustainable tourism is plagued by the challenge of operationalization of applying the concepts to specific situations. In practice, sustainable tourism is often operationalized by listing several criteria, such as tourism involving minimal environmental impact, enhanced local benefits and participation, and education of visitors. This research found strong operationalization efforts between state tourism agency for commercialization, and Jabatan Warisan Negara for conservation.

This finding also concurs with comprehensive schematic model offered by Belz (2006) which touches key elements of sustainable marketing as following:

• Socio-ecology issues which have strong preservation of local multiculturalism against aggressive marketing efforts took by Tourism Melaka, as depicted in findings from Objective 1 using PESTEL and SWOT analyses.

• Consumer behavior where there is a high degree of awareness, support, and participation by local and international visitors in preserving local heritage, as summarized in mean test results.

• Sustainability marketing mix research has mapped out 7P's used by Tourism Melaka to promote its heritage tourism, and at the same time educating stakeholders on the importance of conserving and appreciating local culture and heritage.

5. Recommendation

Based on findings of four objectives from this research, several recommendations can be made to intensify the sustainability marketing strategies for Melaka Heritage tourism.

5.1 Develop comprehensive management plan of heritage site

Tourism Melaka should work closely with relevant agency on conservation such as Jabatan Warisan Negara to plan strategic (long term) in selecting areas available for commercialization, and others for gazette. This selective approach can be used to refurbish and reconstruct dilapidating heritage site and return it to its former glory. Once ready, the gazette status can be lift up to allow suitable activities being done to promote it as tourist attraction. On the mean time, other heritage site that already worn out will be imposed the gazette status, and refurbishment can take place. This is to ensure that heritage site can be restored and maintained, but at the same time being used to generate sustainable income.

Cultural show is considered as intangible heritage that covered under UNESCO classifications. Multicultural

background of Melaka people can be promoted further to increase awareness about multiethnic origin that has been assimilated more than 500 years, such as Baba Nyonya, and Chetti. Exposition of this unique culture can further enhance heritage activities and experience to be offered to local and international tourists alike.

5.2 Improve road access to tourist area

Although the area is protected for full development, relevant agencies can re-route traffic flow so the congestion can ease up, and core zone is accessible by pedestrians. Currently, local feeder busses and traffic flow share the same road crossing core zone, causing massive congestion especially during holiday season. By limiting access of local traffic, and re-route the flow, core zone can be easily access by foot, and this can reduce further the pollution as well. Trishaw however is useful to commute people from point to point within core zone, thus improving the accessibility as well as increasing demand for local trishaw.

Current development of walkways along Melaka River is highly commendable, and should be extended around Core Zone to encourage more people to walk from site to site rather than driving their own vehicle. This two-prong approach is proven to be effective to increase participation of tourists in each heritage site along the walkways, and at the same time reduce traffic congestion tremendously.

5.3 Develop collaborated tourism products with healthcare providers

Melaka Tourism can also tap on the increase demand for medical tourism in Melaka, by collaborating with local healthcare providers for promotional products relevant to heritage tourism, such as Historic Trail activities and cultural shows. One of the factors towards the popularity of the medical tourism in Malaysia is the government initiative to support the medical tourism. The Malaysia's Ministry of Health operates the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, dedicated to improving and promoting health care within Malaysia for foreigners. The Ministry of Health's website includes an English-language guide for foreigners who are considering health tourism in the country. Online resources include a guide to hospitals offering medical care, with contact information, capacity statistics and a summary of specialties.

5.4 Develop comprehensive and interesting education products for heritage tourism

Tourism Melaka can develop education package for heritage tourism in order to increase awareness and responsibility to maintain and help the local government preserving local historical area and culture. Overflow of tourist may contribute to the degrading of heritage site as mentioned on research findings by Ap & Crompton (1998) on environmental effect of tourism.

Thus, to improve responsibility and increase degree of participation by tourists, education program can be included in the heritage tourism package. Educating visitors is important to ensure sustainable marketing efforts done by Tourism Melaka would be more holistic and inclusive. Based on findings on tourists response towards heritage activities and experience, education background prove to be significant with high acceptance level. Education shall not be limited to incoming tourist only, but also must be developed through holistic approach such as from school level. This is to ensure the acceptance and awareness on the importance of maintaining and respecting heritage products can be sustain in a longer period transverse generations.


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