Planning on tourism's fringe : an exploratory investigation of sustainable small-scale tourism planning on Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia
Lester, Timothy John
This research project examines planning for small-scale tourism development on Malaysia's Pangkor Island. As more developing countries are focusing economic growth strategies upon tourism, the impacts on the local level need careful planning to prevent degradation of the social, cultural, economic and natural environments. Therefore, this study researched the strengths and weaknesses of small-scale tourism planning at the local level. A case study approach was adopted that focused upon the effectiveness of local level tourism planning on Malaysia's Pulau Pangkor (Pangkor Island). The island is an increasingly emerging tourist destination for Malaysia and as such presents itself as an ideal case study for this project which seeks to investigate sustainable tourism planning. In undertaking planning-related research within a tourism context this research project adopts local knowledge as a central method of data collection. Combined with issues identified by eminent planning and tourism commentators this project has collected and analysed perceptions on tourism-derived impacts on Pulau Pangkor from three clusters of key informants in order to gauge the level of effectiveness of small-scale tourism planning. This study has revealed a number of significant findings on which to base planning recommendations for tourism development. Strengths of Pulau Pangkor's tourism planning involved high levels of visitor satisfaction, improved social and economic opportunities for the local residents and an enhanced natural environment. Conversely, the results also revealed the existence of a dichotomy between the island's local residents and officials. This was particularly detrimental to the island's sustainable tourism planning. In addition to this conflict it was found that many aspects of the social, cultural, economic and natural environments experienced problems attributable to ineffective tourism planning. Issues of localised inflation, displacement, increased numbers of outsiders, missed opportunities and waste management emerged as significant challenges to be met by Pulau Pangkor's local planning officials. Moreover, it was found that in order to mitigate planning limitations identified by this project, local planning officials need to adopt a more collaborative and integrative approach to tourism planning on the island. There is evidence from this case study that local level tourism planning on Pulau Pangkor has many challenges to overcome. lt was discovered that Pulau Pangkor's local authority needs to understand that co-operation with the island's tourism industry has only been sporadic as there was an unclear adherence to the concept of sustainable tourism planning. By improving the local authority's leadership, Pulau Pangkor's tourism industry has the potential to sustainably cater to the island's local communities' socio-cultural, economic and natural well-being now and in the future.
Advisor: McGregor, Andrew
Degree Name: Masters in Regional and Resource Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis