Section 1: Background of Report
Malaysia is an area of the world that not many people are aware of. We feel that
it is a unique vacation spot, whose full potential as a tourist destination is not being taken
advantage of. There are many advantages and attractions that would draw visitors to
Malaysia. The country is rich in island life, city excitement, nature, and heritage.
For this project, our team has decided to promote the Nature and Outdoor
Adventure aspect of Malaysia. The country is covered in trees- everything from lush
rainforests and tall oaks. There are deep caves to explore and a variety of animals to
observe at wildlife refuges. We intend to market to young, adventurous travelers
interested in exploring the country and participating in activities, as well as nature-
enthusiasts looking to increase their knowledge and experience. These groups can be old
or young, but our target market will have the resources available to schedule a trip to
Malaysia is a country slightly larger than New Mexico, located in Southeast Asia.
It is divided into two sections- a peninsula in the West and the Port of Borneo in the East.
It is bordered by Thailand to the north. It is divided into thirteen states, one territory, and
three components, one being the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia gained its
independence from the United Kingdom on August 31, 1957, and is now a Constitutional
Monarchy. The country has a middle-class economy, with much of its income coming
from agriculture, petroleum production, and exportation of textiles and electronics.
The geography of Malaysia varies as visitors move around the country, as the
climate does by season. It is a traditional tropical monsoon climate, with northeast winds
from October to February and southwest winds from April to October. The terrain ranges
from coastal plains to hills, rising to mountains. Almost three quarters of the land in
Malaysia is covered by trees. This leads to the variety of species of trees, flowers, and
animals that we are hoping to promote with our marketing campaign. The high
mountains provide opportunities for climbing and caving, while the forest offer hiking
Malaysia is a mix of peoples and heritages, giving it its unique culture. There are
three main groups that have influenced Malaysia today however. These include the
ancient Malay culture, and the cultures of Malaysia's two most prominent trading partners
throughout history--the Chinese, and the Indians. Each of these groups, along with many
smaller indigenous tribes, has maintained some of their respective cultures, but has also
blended to create the traditions and customs of modern Malaysia. Today, the population
of Malaysia is nearly 24 million, with 50% of Malaysians being of traditional Malay
Little is known about prehistoric Malaysia, but around 1405, the Chinese arrived
on the Malay Peninsula, bringing Islam soon after. Europeans were attracted to the area
in search of spices. This European interest led to Malaysia being taken over first by
Portugal, then the Dutch, and finally the British. The British brought in Chinese workers
to tin mine, and Indians to work on rubber plantations and build railways. In 1957, the
Malay Peninsula finally gained independence and joined with the north Borneo states of
Sabah and Sarawak, creating Malaysia. Today, there is some tension between the Malays
and the Chinese near Kuala Lumpur, but in general, the communities are peaceful.
Malaysia has an abundance of festivals, customs, traditions and array of cuisines.
The mixture of cultures has created many tourist opportunities. The major cities include
Ampang Jaya, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Klang, and the capital, Kuala Lumpur. In these cities,
there is shopping, eating, entertainment, and nightlife. The historic cities of Penang and
Melaka are popular destinations for those travelers interested in traditional culture and
The availability of natural resources and the varied geography create numerous
chances for adventure. Visitors can participate in almost anything they can think of-
from jungle trekking, mountain climbing, caving, and mountain biking, to river safaris,
whitewater rafting, diving, or skydiving. These choices are one of the things our group is
going to present to our target market.
Appealing to the other half of our market segment, nature-lovers, is the vast array
of plants and animals in the country. There are over 8000 species of flowering plants,
including 2000 trees, 800 orchids, and 200 palms. They include the world’s tallest tree
species, the ‘tualng’, and the world’s largest flower, the ‘rafflesia’ measuring up to a
meter across. Malaysian visitors can also watch elephants, rare rhinos, tapirs, tigers,
leopards, honey bears, several kinds of deer on the island of Borneo.
Malaysia is a country that has many celebrations, festivals, and feasts. Some of
the most popular and well known are the following.
Wesak Day (May 25)
This is the most important day of the Buddhist Calendar as it marks the birth,
enlightenment and death of Buddha. Buddhist devotees will gather in temples throughout
the country to release doves and to offer prayers. Wesak is also an occasion to offer alms
to monks and give free meals to the needy.
Kaamatan Festival in Sabah (May l -31)
The Kaamatan or Harvest Festival is celebrated by the Kadazans / Dusuns in thanks for a
bountiful harvest. Highlights include a beauty pageant, cultural dances and rituals
culminating in the thanksgiving ceremony performed by the Bobohizan or high priestess
Festival of San Pedro, Portuguese Settlement, Malacca (June 24 - 26)
This is a delightful cultural event to celebrate the birthday of the patron saint of
fishermen, San Pedro. The fishing boats, which are colorfully decorated for the festival,
are blessed and prayers offered for a better season.
Mooncake Festival (September)
The Chinese Mooncake Festival celebrates the overthrow of the Mongols during the end
of the Yuan Dynasty (120G- 1341 AD) in China. It falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth
moon (August/September). The festival is celebrated with colorful lantern processions on
the night of the festival.
The other specialty of the festival is the Mooncake itself. These cakes are rich, round
pastries filled with a mixture of sweet red bean paste, lotus nut paste, or salted egg yolk.
It is said that secret messages of revolt carried inside these cakes led to the uprising
which deposed the Mongol Dynasty.
General Tourist Information about Malaysia
Background and Tourist Arrivals
Aboriginal Malays (Orang Asli) began moving down the Malay Peninsula from
southwestern China about 10,000 years ago. The peninsula came under the rule of the
Cambodian-based Funan, the Sumatran-based Srivijaya and the Java-based Majapahit
empires, before the Chinese arrived in Melaka in 1405. Islam arrived in Melaka at about
the same time and spread rapidly. Melaka's wealth soon attracted European powers, and
the Portuguese took control in 1511, followed by the Dutch in 1641. The British
established a thriving port in Penang in 1786 and took over Melaka in 1795.
The British traded for spices and colonized the interior of the peninsula when tin was
discovered. East Malaysia came into British hands via the adventurer Sir James Brooke
(who was made Rajah of Sarawak in 1841 after suppressing a revolt against the Sultan of
Brunei) and the North Borneo Company (which administered Sabah from 1882).
Gradually, the Federated Malay States were created in piecemeal fashion over the course
of the 19th century.
Transportation around Malaysia
Malaysia’s main international airport is at Sepang, 75km (47mi) south of KL. Most
tourists either fly into Sepang or arrive overland from Thailand or Singapore. However,
Penang also has international flights, and Kuching in Sarawak and Tawau in Sabah have
flights to/from Kalimantan. There is a departure tax of USD40.00 on international flights,
but if you buy your ticket in Malaysia the tax is already included in the ticket price.
Departure tax for flights to Singapore and Brunei is only USD5.00.
There are five road border crossings between Malaysia and Thailand (two on the west
coast, one in the centre and two on the east coast). There is also a west-coast rail link. To
get to/from Singapore, you can cross the causeway at Johor Bahru, catch a ferry or take
the train. There are three ferry services between Malaysia and Indonesia (Penang-Medan,
Melaka-Dumai and, in East Malaysia, Tawau-Tarakan). There's also a difficult road link
between Sarawak and Kalimantan.
Taxis are also an option.
Factors affecting travel to Malaysia
Sheltered by the island of Sumatra, Malaysia was hit by the December 2004 tsunami's
secondary 'shadow' wave, which traveled at 160km/h (compared to the primary wave
speed of 800km/h). The impact resulted in 68 deaths and US$25 million in property
damage. Areas affected included the island of Penang and Langkawi, and parts of the
mainland in the states of Kedah, Perlis and Perak. In the resort areas of Penang and
Langkawi, clean-up efforts were quick and efficient and all beachfront hotels were at full
operating capacity within two weeks of the event.
Malaysia is a year-round tropical destination. The most popular time for visitors is in the
summer months and during Christmas and Chinese New Year (January or February). The
least popular time is the winter monsoon season, which primarily affects the east coast of
High season: June to August
Low season: December to February
Shoulder season: March to May, September to November
Current Target Market Segments
-Adventurous people looking for fun and culture
-Older people interested in culture
-Family members going to visit others
Section 2: Analysis of the selected destination and Proposal of Strategy
Malaysia is a beautiful country, rich in natural resources and adventure. It attracts
adventurous people looking for an experience that is out of the ordinary. The tropical
weather is perfect for excursions- being miserably cold is never a problem. Its main
language is Malay, but the people also speak English and it is very well recognized. With
English being such a dominant language, any country that could not recognize it would
lose tourism. The country is also relatively diverse, allowing many cultures to feel right at
home. The government is democratic, meaning the citizens are free and no dictator
controls what the people of Malaysia can do. With the personalities of the culture,
government, and people of Malaysia, the country is very accepting of tourists. This
makes the destination more desirable and profitable to everyone.
Malaysia also has its weaknesses however. One of the disadvantages is the fact
that Malaysia is quite a traveling distance for people, especially in the United States.
Malaysia is set apart from other countries, which limits its stopover destination potential.
It can be a stopover en route to the South Pacific, however. Malaysia is not well known
around the world for its tourism; however there is a lot that this country has to offer.
There are many countries that offer adventure and excursions, so making Malaysia stand
out could be a challenge. African countries have this advantage over European countries
because of the size and adventurous image they have. The tourism image of Malaysia is
small compared to the potential that it has. Malaysia has not established itself as a major
tourist destination yet, but it could catch on to the entire world with what new adventures
it has to offer.
Our main project goal is to market Malaysia to tourists interested in Outdoor
Nature and Adventure Travel. We plan to make Malaysia stand out from its competitors
and attract groups looking for excitement. For our purpose, we will define nature travel
as ecotourism that concentrates on interacting with, enjoying, and respecting wildlife.
Adventure travel is non-traditional, active travel destinations and tours.
There are many marketable benefits of these two cooperating sectors of tourism.
Nature travel has benefits both for the community and the visitor. As noted by Dr. Julie
Robertson, a conservationist in Washington, nature tourism “can preserve or improve
your quality of life and natural resources while providing jobs and increased local
revenues, and enhancing community cohesion and pride.” According to a study published
and presented at the 1996 Annual Society of Travel and Tourism Educators Conference,
adventure travel offers visitors the chance to experience and take part in their tourism
encounter, rather than just be a spectator from afar. This study, called “Definition of
Adventure Travel: Conceptual Framework for Empirical Application from the Providers’
Perspective”, which was done by a graduate student here at Purdue University, also found
that some of the benefits of adventure travel include discovering new experiences, a sense
of personal growth, and better travel opportunities, among others. These ideas can be
used to market Malaysia as a vacation destination.
We plan to promote Malaysia as a country that has something for everyone
interested in the outdoors. As discussed earlier, there are an incredible amount of
activities for anyone to enjoy in Malaysia- everything from jungle trekking and mountain
climbing to bird watching or scuba diving. Though many of these things can be done
closer to home, no other environment is as unique or exotic as Malaysia. According to
the LonelyPlanet website, ‘Malaysia boasts some of the most superb beaches, mountains,
and national parks in Asia.’ For adventure travelers, the environment and opportunities
are perfect. As far as nature-enthusiasts, there are many rare species of plants and
animals- some that are found only in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s extraordinary environment, rare native species, and numerous
activities definitely make the country a ‘must’ for adventure and ecological travelers.
This country should be especially appealing to the US tourism market. According to the
Adventure Travel Report from www.tia.gov, ‘One-half of U.S. adults, or 98 million
people, have taken an adventure trip in the past five years.’ This number is expected to
increase considerably over the next five years. There has also been an increased
awareness and interest in the environment over the past decade. With this in mind, it is
definitely ideal to market Malaysia as a top destination for adventure and environmental
travel, especially to US tourists, given their increasing interest.
Of course, only certain tourist segments will be interested in visiting Malaysia for
its outdoor opportunities. The ideal target market for the adventure travel is a young and
adventurous group. College students would be a good example of this market. We
would also propose adventure to businessmen traveling in the area. For the
environmental tourism, an older market would be reached. For example, retired couples
may enjoy bird watching. Scientists and wildlife conservationists would be interested in
the variety of plant and animals species available for study. Both of these groups would
require enough resources to plan a trip to Malaysia, and both would find an equally
To successfully attract potential tourists to Malaysia, we may have to change their
organic image of the destination. As published in an article by Online Distance
Education at the Universiti Sains Malaysia, people may have the perception that Malaysia
is behind-the-times and inaccessible. This is an idea that will have to be changed. We
need to encourage visitors to try the new experiences that Malaysia offers. Currently, a
good marketing strategy would be to make the country seem more exciting, hip, and up-
to-date. This could be done with promotional advertising, including slogans and pictures.
While we know that the facilities exist for Malaysia to be an adventurous, stimulating
destination, potential Nature and Adventure tourists may not.
There are many ways that the Malaysian government and tourism board can work
to change the perception of its country in the minds of the target market. As noted
before, this includes young travelers interested in exploring the country and participating
in activities, as well as nature-enthusiasts looking to increase their knowledge and
experience. To deal with marketing issues, representational advertisements could be
placed in magazines- both outdoor adventure ones and those more geared towards people
interested in wildlife- to enhance the readers’ curiosity. There are television channels
directed specifically at these markets, including the Outdoor Life Channel and the
National Geographic Channel. Pull-factors can be used to intrigue tourists. With catchy,
informative ads, viewers may be enticed to research this developing destination. Also,
the government needs to be sure that all websites, travel agents, and tourism businesses
are promoting their destination in a positive, appealing way.
Before implementing this campaign however, there are factors that need to be
considered. Malaysia must be able to deliver on our promise of a nature-rich, exciting
destination. It must manage its resources and image to keep its newly hard-earned
impression alive. Dr. Roberts advises that for sustainable outdoor tourism to be part of
an area, both the community and visitors have to be kept intact. These include both the
natural and cultural resources. She notes that “careful planning and management are
necessary to make sure that nature tourism doesn't damage the very resources on which it
depends.” Malaysians need to make sure that by promoting nature and the outdoors, they
do not damage them for future generations, just to make a profit. To do this, the
government and tourist bureau could work closely with nature conservationists to make
sure what they are planning is safe, both for tourists and the environment. To ensure a
successful business plan, Malaysia must be aware of these planning, management, and
Borneo, Malaysia 7 Day Eco-adventure Tour
Fly in to Kuching the historical capital of Sarawak, Borneo. Enjoy the exciting
markets, art culture, and historical sites. Stay at the Crowne Plaza Riverside
Enjoy the short and scenic flight into Mulu to go trekking in the Deer & Lang
caves at the National park. Adventurecenter.com states that the national park
has “over 3,500 plant species, 8,000 different types of fungi and 170 species of
orchid. Over 100 new plant species were discovered between 1960 and 1973.
There are 262 species of bird, almost 300 butterflies and many reptiles and
mammals. The park contains Sarawak’s second highest peak, Gunung Mulu, at
2,376m and the largest caves on earth.” Stay at the Royal Mulu Resort.
Take a bus to Tunku Abdul Rahman Island Park, which is set on 5 Islands.
According to Malaysia.com, this conservational park is known for its ‘beaches,
snorkeling, windsurfing, fishing, parasailing, kayaking, white-water rafting, and
rainforests.’ Stay at the Hotel Shangri-La.
Fly into Kinabalu to experience Kinabalu Park & Poring Hotsprings. This area is
known for its biological diversity. The park offers many varieties of rare plants,
including the largest flower in the world- the rafflesia. There is also Mt. Kinabalu,
the tallest mountain in South East Asia. Spend the end of the day relaxing in the
therapeutic hot springs. Remain at the Hotel Shangri-La.
Take a short drive to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. This facility is
set in rainforest and offers a first-hand view at these, and other, magnificent
creatures. Stay at the Sepilok Nature Resort.
Take a short drive to Sandakan where you can take a journey boat down
Kinabatagan River. You will see a variety of habitats such as wetlands and
mangroves, as well as beautiful wildlife. Stay at Sandakan Hotel.
Take a guided jungle trek through the Sandakan Rainforest and observe
gorgeous natural flora and fauna or explore the town. Flight home.
Approximately US $1050, Airfare not included
Justification of Itinerary
We are marketing to young, adventurous travelers, and this itinerary fits
them well as it is very rigorous and involves a lot of activities and exploration.
The setting of this Malaysian offers the perfect mix for our target market and is
extremely close to the mainland if they would wish to extend their trip and see
more of Malaysia. The itinerary covers multiple activities for both land (ex:
mountain climbing, jungle trekking) as well as water (white water rafting,
parasailing, fishing). Nature enthusiasts will also be well-catered to with this
itinerary as it visits several sites that have extremely rare flora and fauna; for
example the extraordinary rafflesia flower and the orangutan rehabilitation center.
There will also be an opportunity to learn about culture as the trip makes several
stops in various cities and local hotels. Regarding cost, the expense of this trip
(based on similar itineraries and internet information) is relatively low. It’s a truly
great deal for people to experience their passions in an environment unlike any
other. This itinerary provides an excellent overall experience for adventure,
nature, and culture. It is also very economical. So in total, it meets the needs of
the target market very well.
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