Malaysian Tourism Industry Achievement From a Knowledge Management Perspective and Emergent Trends

Malaysian Tourism Industry Achievement From a Knowledge Management Perspective and Emergent Trends

Naeem Hayat (University Malaysia Kelatan, Malaysia) and Abdullah Al Mamun (UCSI University, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3142-6.ch006

Abstract

This chapter deals with the tourism industry in general from the Malaysian context. Tourism industry (TI) across the globe is gaining momentum and is respected as an emerging business sector bringing the much needed foreign exchange and employment opportunities for the countries. Tourism as a service sector depends on the knowledge assets of the firms for building innovate services on the management of knowledge. Introduction and the evolution of knowledge management (KM) are discussed as enabling forces for the industry and making competitive advantage for Malaysia. Malaysian achievements in TI bring much needed foreign revenues and bring employment opportunities as well. KM systems stem from the need to manage service orientation of the tourism industry associated with a higher level of diversity in services requirements of the customer coming to Malaysia from across the globe. Finally, a particular set of empirical results are reported to establish the effects of KM on service innovation and performance of Malaysian tourism players. Moreover, emerging trends in the TI are highlighted as well.
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Introduction

The tourism industry across the globe experienced rapid growth in the last two decades (Tang & Tan, 2015). More countries intended to attract more tourists as tourism is a lucrative earning opportunity for the countries to develop economically and sustainably (Zakariah, Zainal & Sharif, 2018). Tourism is associated with multiple business opportunities to travel industry, hotel industry, and retail industry (Wardi, Abror & Trinanda, 2018). The nature of the tourism industry is mainly a service orientation that prioritises customers for the success of the industry (Shafaei, 2017).

The tourism industry regarded as highly competitive in nature and customer persistent increase in demand challenging the management and employees in the tourism industry. Knowledge of business practices and having a good understanding of the business environment help the tourism firm to survive in the highly competitive business landscape (Hallin & Marnburg, 2007). Therefore, it becomes crucial to manage knowledge of the firm and keep updating the firm’s offering to meet the ever-increasing customer demands better than the competitors. Moreover, meeting customer demand also requires updating the existing inventory of knowledge from outside to remain competitive and sustain progress.

In recent times, technology drives innovation and facilities the management of the business organisation in multiple ways. Knowledge management concept associated with the product and process innovation for decades (Hallin & Marnburg, 2007). However, the service sector, like tourism, still needs to realise the benefits of knowledge management to innovative and delivery tourism services delighting the customers (Shaw & Williams, 2009). Another challenge associated with tourism as a sector is the small size of the firm offering associated and comparable services and unable to take advantage of technology to perform well (Hallin & Marnburg, 2007). Therefore, inter-organizational and intra-organizational factors are essential to understand the mutual working of the industry players for the delivery of services to the customers. The inter and intra-organizational working of tourism players brings challenges to reap the benefits of knowledge management initiatives by small firms or joint efforts taken by small firms (Cooper, 2006).

Social media users reportedly increase over time for exploring tourism purposes and help the tour operators to engage with the current and prospective customers as well (Mohammad, Rashid & Tahir, 2013). Social media effectively enable the tourism services providers to understand and design services for what prospective customers are looking for and to develop a competitive advantage over their respective competitors across the globe (Muniandy, Rahim, Ahmi & Rahman, 2019). However, effective management of social media is a must to understand and satisfy customer needs (Li Sa, Choon-Yon, Chai & Joo, 2019). However, effective management of social media by small tourism players is much challenging and requires policy and resources too effectively manage and reap the economic benefits.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Knowledge Sharing and Replication: Knowledge sharing between tourism firm employees formally or informally. Replication of knowledge achieved with the help of the knowledge stored in knowledge portals or databases.

Knowledge Measurement: Development of knowledge measurement metrics for assessment knowledge assets within the tourism firm could be useful for the management of the firm’s knowledge.

Eco-Friendly Tourism: Tourism services offered in such a manner that the eco-waste reduced from the travelling to lodging activities. Moreover, direct or indirect effects of tourism mitigated intending to reduce the impact on the environment.

Halal Tourism: Tourism services offered in such a manner to follow the teaching of Islam in all the tourist services offered from travelling to lodging activities. Permissibility of Islam is paramount of the tourism service offerings.

Homestay: A offering to let the part of one home for rent for a few days. The offering is associated with food and housing facilities, and some time offers the transport and guide services as well.

Knowledge Integration: The tourism firm makes a person-in-charge to identify, store, share, and integrate firm knowledge with individual employee knowledge. Knowledge integration is the outcome of the firm’s knowledge strategy and goals.

Knowledge Management: Firm’s business strategy to formalised firm’s existing information at the disposal of the firm by the use of technology to store, retrieve, and utilise the organisational knowledge with the participation of the firm’s employees.

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