Authors : Zuliskandar Ramli
Abstract: Tourism is one of the industries which is developing rapidly, not only in Malaysia but all around the world. According to the annual research report of The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), together with its strategic partner, Oxford Economics, Travel and Tourisms in 2013, it was revealed that the tourism industry accounted for 9.5% of total world GDP (USD 7 trillion). One of the potential tourism sector in Malaysia is heritage-based tourism. This field is not something new but the promotion for this aspect of heritage tourism is still lacking. This heritage based tourism can involve cultural heritage (tangible and intangible) and natural heritage. The number of tourists who visited Malaysia in 2013 amounted to 25.7 million people and a total of 28 million tourists was targeted in 2014 in conjunction with visit Malaysia Year 2014. In attracting Foreign tourists to see the cultural diversity and natural beauty of the country hence, several products based on heritage that are of potential are certainly sites which have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. Among these sites are the Mulu National Park and Kinabalu National Park as world heritage sites of the natural category while George town and Melaka as well as the archaeological site of Lenggong Valley as world heritage site of the cultural category. According to statistics, most foreign tourists visited the city of George town and Melaka, especially tourists from Southeast Asia while Lenggong archaeological site was found to be less visited by foreign tourists. In the category of nature, the Kinabalu National Park is the preferred destination of tourists compared to the Mulu National Park or the National Park in the Peninsula itself. The potential of each of these areas or sites can be enhanced by having more vigorous promotions and solid cooperation between the government agencies, travel agencies and non-governmental agencies involved.
Zuliskandar Ramli , 2017. Heritage Tourism in Malaysia: Potential and Challenges. The Social Sciences, 12: 431-440.