School of Hospitality Hosts the STIPRAM Institute of Tourism, Yogyakarta

The group of enthusiastic students travelled to Malaysia as part of the institute’s international programme to travel abroad. Apart from visiting the remarkable landmarks in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Mr Aldi and the students also visited Sunway City, particularly, Sunway University.

The 16 students are from a mixture of tourism-major and hospitality-major, aspiring to gain international experience in a challenging yet vibrant hospitality industry. Setting foot at Sunway University, the students toured around the School’s facilities and appreciated the School’s facilities.

Professor Marcus Stephenson also presented to the students the tourism trends in Malaysia and talked specifically about: “Malaysia Truly Asia: Time for a Change?”. He began his presentation by highlighting the historic growth in tourism in the nation, partly due to the “Malaysia Truly Asia” campaign – a short yet catchy tagline. Malaysia is indeed a nation that has a lot to offer to its tourists, be it nature, delectable cuisine, or its richness in culture. Though one may question if this campaign is truly still effective because of its saturation in the market place and the fact that tourism numbers are not increasing dramatically in recent years.

Following that, the tourism industry in Malaysia witnessed declines from several tourist markets. Moreover, other nations in Asia Pacific have also emerged with yet more catchy taglines and rigorous campaigning to capture tourist markets. Despite these challenges, the Chinese tourist market has been fairly buoyant.

Finally, Professor Stephenson noted that with all the continual changes in relation to the world economy and the competitive environment, which affect tourism growth, there is a constant need to target specific groups of potential tourists to gain their long-term interest. Indeed, one potential growth market segment is that of Muslim tourists. Consequently, the presentation not only identified the challenges but also the opportunities for the Malaysia tourism industry.