Tourism refers to the activities where people travelling to or staying in the places outside their usual environment for more than one day and less than one year for leisure, business and other purposes. The tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the world. Besides, tourism industry is a dynamic and competitive industry because it needs to be able to adapt to changing need or desire of the customers such as safety, enjoyment and satisfaction of customer. Malaysia is one of the Southeast Asia countries and it is divided into Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia two distinct areas. The development of tourism industry has cause the Malaysia becoming one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world. This is because Malaysia have a lot of natural tourist destination such as tropical islands, wonderful highlands and others. Not only that, the three main different cultures and ethnic in Malaysia such as Indians, Malays and Chinese can be one of the significant attraction to tourists.
Tourism industry as one of the largest economic sectors in the world, it creates jobs and generates prosperity across the world. In 2017, the total contribution of tourism to GDP was 13.4% and the direct contribution of tourism to GDP was 4.8% of total GDP. The direct contribution of tourism to GDP is calculated to include the output of tourism characteristic sectors that deal directly with tourists such as hotels, travel agents, leisure, and recreation services. The total contribution of tourism to GDP are includes the indirect and induced impacts on the economy. The indirect contribution that supported the tourism investment spending, government collective spending and domestic purchases of good and services are includes in the GDP and jobs. Yet, the induced contribution is supported the direct or indirect spending that employed by the tourism industry to measures the GDP and jobs. The total contribution of tourism to GDP was MYR181.4bn around 13.4% of GDP in 2017 and it is expected to increase to MYR189.3bn about 13.3% of GDP in 2018.
Malaysia is one of the Southeast Asia countries that having vast gastronomy products such as food, beverage and food culture due to the multicultural in this country. There are various races in Malaysia particularly Malays, Chinese, Indian and other ethnic groups are mixed in Malaysian gastronomy products. For instances, Nasi Lemak and Rendang are assert as traditional Malay food; Chicken Rice, Cincau and Char Kway Teow as Chinese traditional foods and beverages; Roti Canai, Teh Tarik and Chapattis as Indian traditional food. This food and beverages have been offering in combination by many ethnic restaurants and it created significant array of Malaysian gastronomy products. Moreover, there are many various places of tourism attractions in Malaysia. For example, Langkawi is a cluster of island off the coast of Kedah and Langkawi has crystal clear sea water and tranquil scenery. Langkawi is also popular for water sports activities and island hopping. Besides, Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands are the high-terrain attraction destination in Malaysia. Cameron Highlands is known for the Boh Tea Plantation and Genting Highlands is the ultimate entertainment destination with many casinos, theme parks and luxury hotel in Malaysia. Genting Highlands have well-equipped facilities such as indoor sky diving, snow parks and Southeast Asia’s fastest cable car. In addition, Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park in Perak is one of the natural original hot tubs and it is popular among locals for its warmth and rejuvenating qualities.
In 2017, Malaysia have received a total of 25,948,459 international tourists and it contribute around RM82.2 billion to the revenue of the country. However, the average length of stay (ALOS) for foreign tourist arrivals has decrease 3% from 5.9 nights to 5.7 nights. Malaysia is the second most-visited South East Asian country which had 35.5 million tourists in 2017. Figure 1 has shown the top 10 tourist source markets for Malaysia in 2017. There were Singapore, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Brunei, India, South Korea, Japan, Philippines and United Kingdom. Singapore is the top source market of the country, it produced 12,441,713 arrivals in 2017 and Indonesia is the second top source market in Malaysia with 2,282,666 tourist arrivals. The visitor volume from China was surged to the target of this country to 2.28 million arrivals with an increase of 7.45%. Visitor count from Thailand reached 1,836,522 arrivals, followed by Brunei with 1,660,506 arrivals. Completing the top 10 visitor markets are India with 552,739 arrivals, South Korea with 484,528 arrivals, Japan with 392,777 arrivals, Philippines with 370,559 arrivals, and United Kingdom with 358,818 arrivals.
The marketing mix elements which include distribution, strategies of promotion, price, and the nature of product or services may be affected the tourism demand. One of the more important element of the marketing mix is price, it dependent on the customer demand for the products or services because price produced revenue to the businesses. The quantity demanded will increase when the price of products or services are decrease and vice versa. For example, the air fare to particular destination increase will affect the demand for the destination decrease. Apart from that, the supply of tourism product or services requires to meet the demand for those product and services. The tourist satisfactions are depending on the ability of supplier to fulfil the consumer needs or desires at the right time with the suitable products. Tourism industry strive to deliver their products and services in the efficient and effective manner to compete in global market through the strategies of Supply Chain Management (SCM). The businesses can improve the prediction ability of consumer demand for services, response for personalized services, high-quality products to obtain the sustainable competitive advantages.
Branding is a process which can creates an affirmative image, identity, and name of a product or services in the minds of consumers through the advertising campaigns. The purpose is to establish the important and special presence of the product or services in the market to attract and retains loyal customers. Branding Malaysia as Truly Asia has been on for more than a decade and helped Malaysia moving forward in the competitive tourism industry. This branding has helped Malaysia presenting itself as a harmonious blend of the cultures and true symbol of pluralism. For example, the destination branding in this campaign is dynamic to adapted with technical innovations such as advertisement on radio, TV, Web TV and other social networking sites. Branding can define as the potential option for places to create the specific places with the desired associations to increase the desirability of a place. This is due to the reason that successful places can attract new investment and establish the positive success circle. Therefore, brand name is the crucial factor of the destination selection when the consumer make decision.
Tourism industry is the fastest growing economic sector that have acknowledged by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) because it brings foreign exchange earnings and increase the jobs opportunity to the country. There are several biggest factors that affecting the tourism industry of the country. One of the factors is the security factor. Security factors is extremely important in choosing a foreign country as travel destination. This can increase the satisfaction of the tourists if the tourism industry in Malaysia can ensure the safety of the tourists when they travelling in Malaysia. Subsequently, the tourism industry will be more valued in Malaysia and contribute to the economic growth. Besides, climate and weather are considering as the biggest factors that affecting the tourism industry in Malaysia because the temperatures in Malaysia is fluctuate between 27 to 35 degree and the weather is hot and humid, so it is considered as a tropical holiday destination. However, the tourist arrivals would be affected when it comes to the monsoon season. The monsoon season in Malaysia is between mid-October and the end of March at the eastern side of the peninsula. During this period, the number of tourists to Malaysia will decrease dramatically. In addition, Malaysia is rich in unique cultural resources and celebrations as offering cultural and religious celebrations as the tourism products. For example, the unique religious celebration called Thaipusam made the Batu Caves as one of the popular resources in Malaysia. As a result, tourist arrivals will reach the top on the particular period in certain places because places of religious importance or places of worship are always crowded with tourists.
As a conclusion, the tourism industry in Malaysia is regarded as one of the most important industries because of its great contribution to the national economy. This is in light of the fact that tourism industry has become one of the largest industries in the world. Hence, Malaysia are focus on developing the tourism industry to ensure the economy of the country is in sync with other countries and has the competitive advantage over other tourism industries in other countries.