As a pluralistic nation, Malaysia consists of diverse ethnic groups of people with various cultures that integrate harmonious and peaceful living in a politically stable and wonderfully rich environmental setting. Due to such unique features, people from abroad become largely attracted to this land and thus frequently arrive here as visitors and tourists. There are tremendous amounts of attractions for the visitors and tourists, and people from various backgrounds arrive to stay here temporarily, generating around RM65 billion in foreign earnings, adding to its national coffer every year. Nevertheless, tourism also causes a major negative effect in which the local culture may be assimilated into the alien norms and behaviors through the continuous process of acculturation. Due to day-to-day interactions with the tourists and visitors, many sociocultural impacts have affected local values, which contextually require to be redefined. This book analyzes critically the sociocultural and environmental impacts of tourism in Malaysia, having collected both qualitative and quantitative data at the empirical level of investigation.
The research project of which the present study is the end result was initiated in late 1970, while I was affiliated with the Economisch Instituut voor de Bouwnijverheid (Economic Institute for the Construction Indus- try), Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This institution, in association with the Urban Development Authority, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, also suppor- ted fieldwork in Malaysia from early 1973 to spring 1975. This resulted in a report to the Malaysian government (Wegelin, 1975), which forms the basis of the present study. Improvement and extension of the earlier report to mould the study in its present shape has been made possible by the financial support of the Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs in Econo- mische en Sociale Aspecten van Bouwproductie en Bouwnijverheid (Foun- dation for University Education in Economic and Social Aspects of Construction), Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The support of the above institutions is gratefully acknowledged. The study owes much to the pioneering work on low-income housing in developing countries bij Charles Abrams and has further been stimul- ated particularly by the contributions of Leland S. Bums and John F. C. Turner in this field. The recent development of comprehensive cost- benefit appraisal methods for industrial projects in developing countries by Professor I. M. D. Little and J. A. Mirrlees (OECD) and A. K. Sen, P. Dasgupta and S. A. Marglin (UNIDO) provided a challenge to apply similar methods in the area of low-income housing.
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