Reassessment of Malaysia's Tourism Policy on Bidong Island

Ikhram Ridzuan, Mansor Abu Talib, Arivayagan Keetanjaly
2022 International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences  
Tourism industry is an important component in the service industry and plays a key role towards the economic sustainability. However unprecedented, and continuous developments in the tourism industry have exposed to many threats such as physical destruction of fauna and flora, ocean acidification, coral mining, and invasion of species. Looking into these considerations, this study aimed to discuss the reassessment of Malaysia's tourism policy focusing on UNESCO heritage sites and underwater
more » ... ural heritage in Bidong Island, Terengganu. The uniqueness of Bidong Island creates an important value as one of Malaysia's significant assets which need to be conserved and preserved of its heritage values and amazing resources. Apart from being rich with natural resources, this incredible island has rare and amazing biodiversity, exclusively for a wealth of unique marine life. Nevertheless, Bidong Island still lags in development as one of the tourist destinations as this island has the potential to generate the economy of the state of Terengganu. Therefore, this study aims (i) to re-evaluate Malaysia's tourism policy toward Bidong Island; (ii) to analyze the framework based on the development and conservation of UNESCO heritage and underwater cultural heritage, and (iii) lastly, to examine the 360-degree application to strengthen the tourism sector in Bidong Island. This study employed a qualitative design, relying on field observation and interviews with the selected informants that are directly involved in the tourism development sector. The findings of the study highlighted the need for comprehensive action in structuring Malaysian tourism policy in Bidong Island during the unprecedented disruptions by COVID-19. These include planning strategies to encourage the sustainability recovery, fostering digital transition, and shifting to a greener tourism system, and directing for the future. Based on these claims, this study proposes action plans that need to be emphasized by the government to develop Bidong Island as part of UNESCO heritage sites and underwater cultural heritage by determining the stakeholder roles, planning executions, and identifying and evaluating cultural assets. The study also proposes a 360-degree application in the tourism industry as aligned with Malaysia's tourism policy from 2020 to 2030. Guided by these findings, this study able to provide insights in booming the tourism industry activities at Bidong Island as well as offers helpful suggestions to government officials, scholars and
doi:10.6007/ijarbss/v12-i8/14273 fatcat:eeqfernsqzg5folalgyooynpla