Sport Tourism In Malaysia.
The Positive and Negative Impacts of Sports Development in Malaysia and How It Boosts the Country’s Tourism Industry. Events Tourism is essentially an event that is staged by the destination to appeal and benefit from visitors, domestic and international. The event is the visitor’s primary purpose or motive for visiting, with the destination receiving either positive or negative impacts as a consequence of hosting it (McCartney, 2011). There are no doubt many events in Malaysia that enhance the interest of visitors are mostly done using sports.
Hence, there are certain positive impacts of sports development in Malaysia. Despite the many positive impacts there is as a form of tourist attraction, it is disappointing that sports development in Malaysia has not been given much attention to as there are those who say many negatives impacts that may arise. Sport events generates diverse and heterogeneous flows of travelers that may include fans, athletes, coaches, media, team personnel, parents and family members (Gratton, Shibli & Coleman, 2004). The fact that sports events in Malaysia attract tourists is well established.
Prominent examples are the Formula One Grand Prix, South East Asian Games, Thomas Cup Badminton Finals and the Commonwealth Games. Malaysia has never hosted the Olympic Games but will someday embrace the day when they do. The founder of the Olympic Games was none other than Pierre de Coubertin. He cited that, “competition produces harmony between competitors and the organizations or nations they represent’’. It was his believe that sport brings people and nation together. First of all, tourists travel away from home just to search for satisfying leisure activities.
Not many might be interested in sports but rather somehow tourists are diverse and may participate in recreational sports event such as mountain climbing or white water rafting. These activities are also sports and they should be developed further despite being a recreational sport. For example, mountain climbing and white water rafting are 2 very famous sports in Australia and if tourists from Australia would come down to our country and wanting to do these activities, they would be disappointed.
Although Malaysia has those 2 activities here and there but they are not taken very seriously. Thus, changing the diversity of the tourists where they would be forced to participate in sports that are more familiar in our country. Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and that has actually made a huge impact on the country’s tourism industry. How so? This is because there were participations from all the countries around the world to all compete in the Commonwealth Games. In that process, these foreign athletes are indirectly tourists as well.
They are brought into our country to try our food, enjoy the weather, and experience the diversity of culture, also at the same time participating in the games. During their stay in our country, they will get to realize how beautiful our country is. In the long run, when the athletes are done with the games, they tend to tell the others from their countries what Malaysia is all about. The power of word of mouth will eventually start attracting more and more tourists to come in and visit. Hence the country’s tourism industry will be boosted and all it takes is by hosting a prominent event such as the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia.
Malaysian’s sports developers can continue having international tournament for every possible sporting event there is to continue influencing foreign athletes and thus increasing the amount of tourists to come. However, Malaysian tourism industry must also meet the requirements of the tourists that will plan to visit. Much similar to the previous point, Malaysian sports developers can send local athletes out to foreign countries to also influence and spreading the wonders of our country. Thus, also another way of increasing the amount of tourists that hopefully will visit Malaysia.
There is also a downside of sports development in Malaysia. Everybody knows that if the sports developers would to invest their funds wrongly, many things can go wrong. First of all, this would give a bad impression of our sport development among the foreign countries and would result in the decrease in the amount of tourists wanting to visit Malaysia. Next, foreign athletes or coaches will not be interested to come in as well. Even if a large sum of money would be involved, these foreign athletes are better of knowing that staying in a country where the sport development is depriving will just be a waste of their time.
However, if the sports developers would want to invest their funds on a certain sport, they would have to try to enhance the athletes to get good performances and directly sending a message to other countries telling them how dominant we are in sports. If those foreign athletes knew how dominant we are in sports, most of them would want to come over to our country to train. Again that would be a golden opportunity for more tourists to come in. Foreign athletes that come over to train usually stay for months. So, they will be familiar with the culture of our country and also spread it among themselves when they get back to their country.
Hence, they would want to know more about our country as they have only heard but not experience the lifestyle in Malaysia. However, it is a risk that the Malaysian sports developers have to take as they cannot predict how the Malaysian athletes will perform, but there are measures that can be taken to improve them. Once they are confident that the particular sport can bring glory to the country then they are able to invest their funds into them. By doing so, hopefully more and more foreign countries will recognize the potential in the Malaysian athletes and decides to come in and ‘blend’ with us Malaysians.
However, some have that mentality stating it is because of the foreign coaches that are so called ‘betraying’ their country into coaching Malaysian athletes to glory. They need to be reminded that Malaysia will always welcome foreign coaches or athletes to come over and not to bring them in using external factors like money. It is clearly their preference and decision for them to come and visit Malaysia. Finally, it can be drawn from the points above that the Malaysian sport development is able to boosts the country’s tourism industry despite having negative impacts.
It is essential to realize that there is a solution for those negative impacts which are yet to come. A study of what motivates tourist behavior must also take into account in relation to a variety of sport tourist profiles. Some chooses challenging sports, other prefers small amateur sporting event. They need to realize that the reason for an amateur event is for tourists to enjoy the leisure not to pressure or interrupt their free time. On the other hand, the focus is on performance in terms of skills when it comes to those who choose the more challenging sport.
Nevertheless, the Malaysian sports developers will need to brainstorm on ways to offer different types of sport to associate with the preference of tourists who will be sitting our country. It is concluded that impacts on sports developments can boost the country’s tourism industry in many ways and in our country, they will keep finding alternatives to also improve the sports development to make Malaysia a powerhouse in years to come. From this conclusion, it’s interesting to know what really drives people to be sports tourists and more specifically what drives them to be a spectator of a sport event (Hendrik-Jan Ottevanger, 2007).