Sample Cultural and Ethnics Studies Paper on Tourism Policy on Economic Development


Indonesia and Malaysia are two members of the ASEAN, and their tourism sectors of
each of the countries affect the performance and the state of the economy between the two
countries. Both countries are the same in terms of their culture and language, as well as the
climate, while the two countries vary in terms of the economic policies on tourism, ethnic
composition, and the government system in place. Even though the two countries enjoy a
collection of similarities, the performance of the tourism sectors of the two countries has ended
up performing differently from each other over the years. In recent years, there has been a shift
in the preferred tourist destinations with a shift from developed countries such as the USA and
Spain to countries in the Asian regions, including Malaysia, Thailand, and China. The paper
expounds and compares the tourism policies of the two countries and how they relate to the
economic performance of both Malaysia and Indonesia.

Challenges to Tourism in the Two Countries

The level of competitiveness and the performance of the tourism sector of Indonesia is
still poor due to the high levels of regulations and lack of certainty in business that has affected
the country. In addition, another source of a barrier to the performance of the tourism sector of
Indonesia arises because of the poor infrastructure and lack of adequate support in terms of the
human resources, the culture, and the natural resources needed to improve on the tourism sector.
Notably, the fundaments weaknesses in the nature of the tourism sector in Indonesia and its
ability to contribute to the economic performance of the country is highly due to the image and
the impression that the country has created among the potential tourist from different countries
(Kokkranikal, Cronje, & Butler, 2011). In terms of the image level, the nature of Indonesia and


the reputations that the country has is associated with a negative social and political climate in
the country.
The region is not considered safe due to the bad publicity and the bad social and political
image that has been associated with the country over the years. However, the efforts that have
been dedicated towards the process of marketing and promotions of the tourism sector have been
limited by the high level of bureaucracy in the country, which has, in turn, affected the ability to
coordinate within the system effectively (Kokkranikal et al., 2011). In addition, the weakness in
the tourism sector and performance in Indonesia is largely due to the inability to effectively
coordinate as well as the effective planning and implementation of the key government policies
that affect the performance of the tourism sector of the country.
Malaysia relates to Indonesia in terms of the challenges faced by the tourism sectors
limiting the performance of the individual economics under the contributions of the tourism
sectors of the two countries. Notably, the tourism sector for Malaysia continues to be under-
delivered and underperformed due to the low-profit margin from the tourism sector of the
country. The country is facing a slow economic return in the tourism sector, having been caused
by the low prices of the ley services in the country, such as the prices of accommodation (Lubis,
2017). Notably, the hotels classified under the four or five-star category are selling at a rate that
is below the average rate of most of the countries with a thriving tourism sector. The low prices
and rates of the hotels in Malaysia have a direct effect on the nature of services provided and the
quality of services provided to tourists in the hotels. Due to the low economic returns from the
sector, most hotels do not undertake to provide training to the hotel staff as a means of improving
the nature and the quality of services provided by the hotels (Goral, 2016). In addition, there is


less refurbishing done to the hotels in the country to raise them to high standards and gain
In terms of the weaknesses faced by the Malaysian tourism sector, the key weakness, and
limitation towards the improvement of the tourism sector of the country related to the image that
the country has created in the eyes of foreign countries. To most of the tourists, there is a lacking
in the image of Malaysia in terms of a secure destination for tourists giving rise to concerns
related to safety with visiting the country (Kokkranikal et al., 2011). Some of the challenges that
the policy implementation process in Malaysia must seek to address relates to the reported
kidnappings witnessed in the country, violent demonstration, false reporting by the international
media, incident relating to the twin airlines, shooting in Sabah, and issues related to safety
concerns in the country (Khan et al., 2020). However, according to the Ministry of Tourism and
Culture in the country, a key area for concern and a limitation tot eh tourism sector and
performance for Malaysia relates to the cleanliness affecting the health standards of the country
coupled by the less promotional and marketing activities and poor customer services offered tot
eh tourist that visit the country.

Government Policy on Tourism as a Solution

The tourism sector is one of the areas of priority in Indonesia and Malaysia due to the
effect that it has on the economic performance of the country. To the Indonesian government,
tourism is included as one of the five priority areas to focus on due to the direct impact that it has
on the economy of the country and offsetting any shortages by the country in terms of the
balance of payment, which determines the state of performance of the economy of any country
(Lubis, 2017). To Indonesia, tourism is classified among the other areas of priority to the
country, such as the Food industry, fisheries, and industry and energy sectors of the country.


Classifying the tourism sector of the country under the same category as the key sectors
mentioned has served in enhancing and consolidating efforts among the leadership and the
policymakers to implements changes that will act as positive contributions to the tourism sector
and the consequent performance of the country’s economy (Goral, 2016). For this reason, the
priority of the government has been to ensure the development of the overall tourism sector, the
development of the specific tourism destinations, the development of core strategies for
marketing, and the promotions of tourism in the country. In addition, the government, through its
tourism ministry, is keen on the development and deployment of both institutional and human
resources to offer support and enhance the development of the tourism sector in the country.
Notably, the development of the tourism sectors as a key pillar to the economic
performance of Indonesia varies from the strategies and the policy intervention done by
Malaysia, aiming towards the improvement of the performance of the tourism sector of the
county. Notably, one of the variations is that the intervention to improve the tourism sector in
Indonesia is performed under three phases, which entail the development of the level of tourist
attractiveness in the country. Furthermore, the empowerment of people seeks to improve on the
country as a tourism destination, and increasing the level of investment and resources dedicated
towards the National community program to support empowerment (Lubis, 2017). On the other
hand, the marketing and the promotional activities undertaken by Indonesia are aimed towards
enhancing the promotions of tourism within and outside of the country, developing information
to inform policy creation and decisions affecting the tourism sector (Khan, Bibi, Lorenzo, Lyu,
& Babar, 2020). This also entails increasing the level of publication on the tourism sector of the
country, enhancing meetings and marketing performed through conferences and exhibitions both
within and out of the country.


For Malaysia, the country, through the government, continues to be involved in the
development and enhancement of the tourism sector in the country. For instance, the government
is involved in the development and formulation of various laws and legal frameworks which
provide the required institutional and legal in order to create sustainability within the tourism
sector of the country (Kokkranikal et al., 2011). Notably, the legal framework and the policy
interventions aiming to improve the economic performance and the contribution of the tourism
sector towards the economic performance of Malaysia has constituted two bodies that work in
coordination to enhance and develop the tourism sector of Malaysia.
On the one hand, the country has a policy that governs the measure out in place by the
Ministry of Tourism and Culture in the country, which has the chief responsibility of the
planning, coordinating, and monitoring the policy intervention process in the country (Lubis,
2017). On the other, another institution and body that has been formed to aid in the efforts
towards improving and enhancing performance in the tourism sector of Malaysia are the
Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board, whose main responsibility is to research and make
suggestions on the best avenues through which the government can invest to improve the tourism
sector of the country. In addition, the body comes up with strategies that will aid in enhancing
the marketing and promotions activities in the tourism sector of the county.


The tourism sectors of Malaysia and Indonesia, like other countries that have an active
tourism sector, directly affect the economic performance of the countries, including establishing
a balance of payment and deficits that exist in the export and the import in the two countries. The
two governments of the countries have managed to realize the importance of having a broad
reach and the large impact that the image of the country has on the view of tourists and how they


affect the decision-making process among the tourist when choosing the tourist destination to
visit. Both countries have dedicated the majority of their time towards the development of
policies and programs that will aid in improving and developing the two tourism sectors of the
two countries. Theoretically, the two countries have focused on the policies and the programs
that will ensure that the role of tourism to the economies of each country is improved.



Goral, R. (2016). Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions; A Comparative Analysis Related to
Mediterranean Destinations. European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 1(1), 157-
Khan, A., Bibi, S., Lorenzo, A., Lyu, J., & Babar, Z. U. (2020). Tourism and development in
developing economies: A policy implication perspective. Sustainability, 12(4), 1618.
Kokkranikal, J., Cronje, P., & Butler, R. (2011). Tourism policy and destination marketing in
developing countries: The chain of influence. Tourism Planning & Development, 8(4),
Lubis, Z. (2017). The comparison between Indonesian and Malaysian tourism performance,
policies and sources. The Social Sciences, 12(9), 1646-1657.