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Dimensions of public participation in planning for sustainable tourism in Kuala Gandah, Pahang, Malaysia


Citation

Abdul Gani, Arni (2016) Dimensions of public participation in planning for sustainable tourism in Kuala Gandah, Pahang, Malaysia. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Abstract / Synopsis

Participation by the public in the decision making process and in the planning stages is regarded as one of the principles of sustainable tourism. Public participation in planning is important because it can have significant impacts on the projects and programs developed in an area especially tourism development in a natural environment. Protected area, in this study the National Elephant Conservation Centre (NECC) in Kuala Gandah is gaining its popularity as one of the famous attractions in Malaysia. An increasing number of tourists to the area demands a better approach to manage tourism development to ensure sustainability. As custodians to the NECC, Department of Wildlife and National Park (DWNP) needs to take proactive steps to embrace the concept of sustainable tourism. This can be done by actively involving the public in the planning of tourism in the area. However, the main problem with public participation is less or no involvement of the public in the decision making due to various reasons and barriers. While many researches has focused on determining the barriers to participation, it is equally important to understand the factors that will predict public participation. The goal of this study is to determine the important attributes and dimensions of public participation in protected area. The study began with an assessment of the current approaches used in public participation in Malaysia from the view of the experts in the identified field. Then, the identification and verification of attributes conducted to establish what attributes and dimensions will predict the public to participate in sustainable tourism planning in Malaysia context. The study was conducted in two phases. The first phase employed a Delphi Technique to gather data from the experts in the field. The study utilized experts in the field of public participation, forestry and tourism management. As a result, forty attributes were found to be important in determining public participation in Malaysia. These attributes were found to be consistent with the findings from the literature. In addition to the existing attributes from the literature, four new attributes emerged from the Delphi exercise. They were opportunities to be present at meetings should be given to all people concerned, the content of reports and documents should be written in easy to understand language, management should establish rapport with the locals and dialogue sessions should be done more frequently and properly scheduled. The result also revealed lacking and weaknesses in the current approaches used by the government in facilitating the participation process. These findings were then used to developed questionnaire for survey conducted at NECC in Pahang. The purpose of the survey was for results verification as well as to generate more convincing findings of the overall study. A total of 413 respondents representing key actors and local community were sampled for this survey. The responses from the key actors and the local community were then tested using Principal component analysis to determine the number of dimensions and the relevancy of each attribute within these dimensions. It was found that only twenty attributes retained based on the recommended loading values. They were grouped into four dimensions; namely situation specific, process 1 – interest oriented, process 2 – participant responsibility and product. A Multiple linear regression was performed to examine which dimensions are the strongest predictor of participation. Major findings from the result revealed two dimensions; situation specific and process 1- interest oriented were the strongest predictors of public participation in planning for tourism in Kuala Gandah. This result indicates that attention to specific issues faced by the public in planning efforts will eventually enhance the public involvement and facilitate cooperation in collaborative efforts. In addition, the process of public participation need to be conducted and managed with consideration of the public interest to ensure their effective participation. The study has able to indicate the factors that can enhance public participation in Malaysia with reference to protected area. Hopefully, the generated attributes and dimensions will be used by the relevant authorities to encourage the public in participatory effort.


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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subject: Sustainable tourism - Planning
Subject: Ecotourism - Social aspects - Malaysia
Call Number: FEP 2016 23
Chairman Supervisor: Associate Professor Khairil Wahidin Awang, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Economics and Management
Keywords: Tourism; Public participation
Depositing User: Mr. Sazali Mohamad
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 09:12
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2019 09:12
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/69472
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