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Impacts of Tourism Development in Langkawi Island, Malaysia: A Qualitative Approach

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems

Volume 1 Issue 1

Published: 2008
Author(s) Name: Azizan Marzuki
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Nowadays, tourism is always regarded as an important means to benefit local communities. The success of the developed countries in expanding tourism industry has inspired many developing countries including Malaysia to give a due recognition to the industry as the main driver in the nation’s economic development. Based on a case study conducted in Langkawi Island, this article attempts to track the progress of tourism development of the island since 1986 until year 2004. The Government and private sector had invested a lot of money in providing public infrastructure and facilities to boost the tourism industry in the island. Despite the massive amount of money spent on tourism development, no study had been conducted to relate tourism spending with the impact of these developments towards the local economy and socio-culture.The case study was conducted from March to July 2004. The main focus of the study is to explore and identify economic, environmental and socio-cultural impacts of tourism development in Langkawi Island. Forty semi-structured interviews with local stakeholders involving hotel managers, government and non-government organizations representatives, resort and tourism developers and community leaders were conducted and analysed using Ritchie and Spencer’s ‘framework method’. Two key issues were identified and discussed further. Those are: (1) the benefits of tourism development; (2) the costs of tourism development. The analysis also found that despite the limitation and development issues, the benefits of tourism development in Langkawi far outweighed the costs accrued to the local populace.

Keywords : Langkawi Islands, tourism development, economic opportunity, benefit, cost.

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