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Asian Social Science; Vol. 8, No. 12; 2012
ISSN 1911-2017
E-ISSN 1911-2025
Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education

Factors and Competitiveness of Malaysia as a Tourist Destination: A
Study of Outbound Middle East Tourists
Ali Salman1 & Mohd Safar Hasim2

School of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia


Institute of West Asian Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia

Correspondence: Ali Salman, School of Media and Communication Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,
43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. E-mail: asalmanphd@gmail.com
Received: May 31, 2012

Accepted: June 30, 2012

Online Published: September 20, 2012

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ass.v8n12p48

International tourism has become one of the largest and most vital economic sectors of the global economy
driving huge flows of people, commodities, and capital. Tourism has been and continues to be an important
foreign exchange earner to many countries in South East Asia and Malaysia is no exception. The aim of this
article is to trace the factors for visiting Malaysia, image of Malaysia as a tourism destination and
competitiveness of Malaysia as a tourism destination among outbound Middle East tourists to Malaysia. A
survey was used to obtain data randomly from 357 outbound Middle East tourists leaving Kuala Lumpur
International Airport (KLIA). From the results, for most of the Middle East tourists, safety and security is
extremely important for choosing Malaysia as a foreign country for long-haul travel. Malaysia is at the top of the
list of top five countries for long-haul travel. Hospitality in Malaysia was better and excellent than many
long-haul countries for the Middle East tourists, followed by natural environment. From the overall implications
of this study, it could be concluded that a strong relationship between government, tourism industry players,...

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