What Is The Culture In Penang Tourism Essay
Pulau Pinang or Penang is one of the unique and attractive places in Malaysia with its many cultures which make Penang one of tourist’s favorite places and tourists attractions. Basically, Penang is famous for their food, religions, cultures and tourism site. According to the UNESCO Worlds Heritage Site of Georgetown says that there are many religions, cultures and foods in Penang, therefore they can blend it well together to make Penang one of the well known states in Malaysia .
There is press statement by YB Danny Law Heng Kiang the Penang State Exco for Tourism Development and Culture said that Penang is ranked in the third place under Kuala Lumpur, and Genting Highland (Pahang) for their tourism destination in Malaysia . At first, Malacca is on top of Penang as tourism destination because they receive approximately 8.9 million tourist arrival in the year 2009. Unfortunately, that statement by Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen may be a mistake because as we can see from the table 2, Penang has more tourists’ arrival compare to Malacca .
According Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, Penang is an island with an area of 108 sq mi/280 sq km and it is known as one of the busiest ports in the past and it is located in the straits of Malacca, on the North-West Coast of Malaysia. Penang is very famous for their beautiful beaches and islands, foods, cultural, religions and many more .
During 16th century, Portuguese merchants Penang was travel from Goa (India) to Far East search for spices, fresh water so they stopped in Penang. In 1786, Penang was very popular among the pirates because they steal ships that cross along Straits of Malacca. At one point, Penang became popular in 18th century and at the same time, Captain Francis Light enter to Penang and start to have good relationship with the locals and also the Sultan of Kedah in 1771. Unfortunately, at that moment itself Sultan of Kedah handed Penang to Captain Francis Light in order to get protection against the threats of Burmese and Siamese. After that, they called Penang as “Prince of Wales Island” and after the settlement; Sultan Abdullah found out that he is being cheated by the British by not willing to offer protection thus he gathered his army to retake Penang. Lastly, after extensive years of struggling between the locals and the British, Malaysia achieves independence in 31st August 1957 and Penang is one of the 13 states. Penang now is known as Pulau Pinang .
What is the Culture in Penang?
The cultures in Penang are very unique and most of the tourists interested to know more about Penang’s culture. In 2008, the population is Penang approximately 2 million on the island and 1 million is in Seberai Prai which consists of 42% Chinese, 41% Malay, 10% for Indian and also 5% for the Peranakan or Baba Nyonya. Baba Nyonya’s culture in Penang is different from Malacca. Baba Nyonya’s in Malacca can speak fluent Malay whereby in Penang, the Baba Nyonya’s speaks mixture of Hokkien, Malay and English and most of the Baba Nyonya’s in Penang still practice their Chinese religion and ancestral worshipping .
Basically, language that being spoken in Penang is Malay language whereby English and the Chinese (Hokkien) also being spoken widely in Penang. And lastly the Tamil language is being spoken by the tamils among their community. Next is the religion in Penang which most of the people believes such as Buddhist, Islam, Hindu, Christian, and many more. Basically, Buddhism is one of the main religions in Penang whereby Islam still the official religion of the state. As you can see that Penang’s culture is a mixture of Malay, Chinese Indian and it is very interesting for tourist’s attractions .
Furthermore, Penang is famous for their food and this is one of the Penang’s cultures. The food in Penang can easily get almost everywhere and anytime in Penang. According the time magazine in 2004, Penang has been the best street food in Asia. Penang is the only place to find such a wonderful, tasty and nice food and also it is so cheap compared to Kuala Lumpur and sometimes people called Penang is the food heaven to eat. The food in Penang is an assortment of Chinese, Nyonya, Malay, India, Thai cuisine. There in Penang also famous for the hawkers’ food which they sell and served by the road side .
Besides that, one of the reason why Penang famous is because they have various of events and festivals that they celebrates such as Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, Chin-gay, Pesta Pulau Pinang, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Thaipusam, Chinese New Year, Hungry Ghost Festival and many more. These festivals would attract many tourists from all over the world to come and experience throughout the festivals. Moreover, it would be nice if tourists from Malaysia or outside Malaysia to give support and celebrates together in these interesting events. The international dragon boat festival usually held around June and July during the school holidays. Chingay is one of the famous cultural events in penang because it is being celebrated because of the birthday of Kuan Yin or the Goodness of Mercy. Normally, this event is being celebrated every year and attracts tourists as far from United States, Japan, South Africa and also Netherlands. Chingay festival is a parade which teams of people will show their skills at balancing 40 foot bamboo flagpoles on their body such as heads, shoulder, hands, and knees. And lastly, Pesta Pulau Pinang is one of the cultural events that being celebrated by all races in Penang. Pesta Pulau Pinang is a carnival that being celebrated in December and it always be lively, happening and colorful carnival every year. There would have a lots of activity includes open air concerts, variety shows, food bazaars, fun fairs, pet shows, exhibitions, games and many more .
What is an event?
Basically events is about to have a particular function or to inform our guest that when some exciting things is going to happen and going to celebrate. For example, book launches weddings, concerts, carnivals and many more. It is more like a preparations for that particular functions to make it runs smoothly and beautifully. It starts from the PA systems, music, VIP rooms, foods, red carpet, guests and many more .
Cultural events that being celebrated by in Penang
Penang is famous for their cultures, ethnicities, foods and festivals. Penang’s has so many events and festivals that being celebrated throughout the year. Hence, the entire tourist from every parts of the world celebrates together with colorful happenings events in Penang. There are few festivals that being celebrated by all races in Penang such As Chinese New Year, International Dragon Boat Festival, Penang Beach Carnival, Penang Cultural Festival, Malaysia Festival and Pesta Pulau Festivals. The purpose all these festivals are held because is to gather everyone and celebrates the harmonious and unique multi culture in Penang. Many activities are held on the festival’s example fashion parades, inter-hotel competition, performance, sell handicrafts, and many more .
1.2 The Problem Statement
The purpose of me choosing this topic is because as we can see Penang is developing to one of the leading tourism states. Cultural and events tourism is a product which is difficult to be tested first before use, so by having the cultural events in Penang can also gives Penang recognition as a world heritage site and will be portraying the cultural diversity of Penang. On top of that, by having cultural events and festivals in Penang can analyze the number of tourists inbounds to Penang. Besides that, tourists can come over and try to experience and spread the news to everyone out there about the cultural events that being celebrated by all races in Penang. There are few popular cultural events that being celebrated such as Thaipusam, Chap Goh Meh, St. Anne’s festival, hungry ghost festival and many more. Basically, Penang is famous for their cultural diversity where they preserve their own traditions and performing arts. On top of that, Penang has own tradition of street culture, celebrations, festivals, and ethnic groups and it will be the most unforgettable moments for the tourists who come and experience the festivals. Lastly, the “Visit Calendar 2010” has their plans to make Penang as the active tourism sector.
Research Objectives/ Aims
The objective of this proposal is:
- To analyze the number of tourists inbounds to Penang during the cultural events celebration.
- To unite all people together to celebrate cultural events in Penang to support the slogan “Satu Malaysia”.
- To investigate the number of tourists that visit Penang according their nationalities.
- To determine the most favorable cultural events to the least popular and why?
- To study the revenue or loses generated by tourists as to the cost incurred by the state government to these events.
By accumulating these results, we can determine whether to sustain, preserve or to promote cultural events or festivals for the coming years.
- What are the number of tourists inbound to Penang in the 2009?
- Should Ministry of Tourism Malaysia encourage more cultural events celebrations in order to give Penang recognition as a world heritage site?
- Should we preserve, promote and sustain our cultural events in Penang in order to pull more tourists from all over the world?
- What the pull factors are for tourists to visits Penang every year?
Hypothesis statement for this topic would be that Penang’s culture has a unique attribute that brings people together by having cultural events and festivals throughout the year. To boast those cultural events and festivals requires financial capital, intellectual capital, cultural capital and also social capital to run the events . The existence of cultural events makes people understand other people’s culture better so that they can understand one and another as well as supporting our Malaysia’s motto which is “Satu Malaysia”. According to Datuk Lim Guan Eng, the Chief Minister of Penang says that they have to give 100% commitment to protect, preserve, sustain and promote the cultural events in Penang so that it can bring the people together and unite the culture and celebrate it collectively. These would reflect the multiracial people and well preserve culture and heritage which is being listed in UNESCO World Cultural and Heritage Site lately .
In the past 6 years, there were twelve countries affected by Tsunami disaster on 26th September 2004 and one of the countries is Malaysia. There were two states in Malaysia was affected by Tsunami which is Penang and Kedah. Both these areas lost everything during the tsunami disasters. At that time, most of the people or tourists are in fear for travelling to other countries. Most of the fisherman’s village in Kedah is destroyed by the tsunami. On top of that, Penang’s tourism slightly decline due to this unwanted disaster. The Government, Corporate, NGO’s, and also individuals contribute millions of dollars to help the victim’s accommodation, medical and many more . Furthermore, there was a change in politics, economy and society due to the tsunami disaster. Penang’s economy slightly decline because lacking of tourists from outside and inside the country. Tourists afraid to come and visits Penang thus not much activity or celebrations can we held during that particular period of timer .
As we know that the mass media plays important roles in promoting any advertisement doesn’t matter in the website or in the daily newspaper. By promoting and advertise something in the website or newspaper, radio, television and so forth may increase the number of tourists who come to Penang. This is one of the strategies to pull tourists to come to Penang after the Tsunami’s tragedy. There are some advertisements that may push tourists out of their state or country to come to Penang by having Cheap Air Flight to Penang inclusive Hotel Rooms. For example, in figure 1.0 and figure 1.1 show that Air Asia offer or promotes cheap flight tickets inclusive a room for the tourists as below as Rm1.00 . Tourists can choose to fly either Penang, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur, and Johor Bahru. The travelling period for the tourists is at any time in July 1st 2011 to November 10th 2011. This is because we want more tourists to come to Penang for vacation and also at the same time we can promote different cultural events and festivals that are being celebrating every month .
Furthermore, Penang State Tourism is promoting their state as by the campaign goes “Visit Penang 2010-1012”. So there are many kinds of activities and events is held for example Esplanade in Action- an Evening of Cultural Performance, Penang Sakura Blossom, Chinese New Year cruise-Lili Marleen and many more. Besides that, the food is one of the attractions besides cultural events in Penang for example, Thai Food Fiesta 2010, Penang Durian and Fruits Festivals, Pesta Pulau Pinang and many more.
According to Natalie Lee, one of the students from University New South Wales stated that Facebook is one of the top growing social networking in the world nowadays which has more than 140 million users in the whole world. It allows us to find and communicate with our friends and share photos, promoting tourism sites and many more. Penang promotes their tourism sites through Facebook, websites, blogs and many more to pull tourists from every parts of the world. They can share photos, promote hotel rooms, flight tickets to Penang, and update latest events in penang and promote it to all their family members, friends and many more. It is one of the best ways to promote Penang to outsiders . .
Theoretical/ Conceptual Framework
As what I have showed the conceptual framework below shows that the research is focus more on the cultural events that being celebrated by all races in Penang. It will be scoped into structural support and cultural infrastructure/ spaces for the cultural events. Next under structural support diagram it will be divided into few points such as handling promotions, ticketing, licensing, printing and distribution of flyers. Besides that, for the cultural infrastructure / spaces will be divided into two main points which is cultural hub and also communities.
At the top part of the framework shows that some of the events and festivals that is being celebrated by all races in Penang. Cultural festivals that being celebrated in Penang is Pesta Pulau Pinang, Hungry Ghost Festival, Chingay, Bon Odori and many more. The purpose of celebrating these festivals is because to sustain and promote the cultural events in Penang thus promote it to tourists from every parts of the world.
For the second phase of the framework, is the cultural infrastructure and spaces which can be divided into two parts which is cultural hub and communities. According to S.B.Tan, Professor School Of Art, University Sains Malaysia says that the cultural hub, is basically where the performances or festivals is going to carried out, for example museums, restaurants, and many more. Whereby, for the communities are basically about where the festivals or events should should be placed in areas where most of the people live,for example city in Georgetown or Balik Pulau. It would be much easier for the people in Penang to travel to those particular places to celebrate the events .
Moving on, on the third phase is the structural support for example handling promotion, ticketing, licensing, distribution flyers and printing.
Cultural Events Tourism For Penang
Events and festivals
- Pesta Pulau Pinang
- Bon Odori
- Hungry Ghost Festival
Cultural infrastructure/ spaces
It should be placed in areas where the people lives
Eg: city of Georgetown or Balik Pulau.
where the performances/ festivals, events is going to carried out
eg: museums, restaurants, and many more
Scope and Limitations
The scope for this study is mainly based on the Tourism Industry in Penang that is rapidly growing in this 21st century. The importance of this sector to the Malaysia’s economy is to pull more tourists to come and visits Penang through the 3 years campaign of the state government by promoting their “VisitPenang 2010- 2012” . According to hotel statistics, in 2008 , Penang received 6.3 million tourist inbounds excluding the excursionist who arrive on cruise or live with their family and friends. The figure is higher than previous year which is 5.1 million. Penang State Government’s has a mission to target 10 million tourists in 2014 which is 4 years from now. Penang’s most profitable income earner comes from tourism sector after manufacturing. According to Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, the number of local and international tourists arrivals in Penang in 2005 is 48% international tourists whereby for the locals is 52% which comes up 4, 351,909 tourists overall. Every year, the number slightly increased doesn’t matter it is international tourists nor local people. Regrettably, in 2009 the number of tourists declined sharply which is from 6,307,468 in 2008 but unfortunately in 2009, the number has dropped to 1,347,356 overall totals. Penang this is because Penang focuses more on developing medical tourism and eco-tourism in this few years . This study will look at the statistics rate or the number of tourists come and visits Penang to celebrates and experience the cultural events and festivals thus food as well. There were limitation sources to find for this topic. To find for data and information’s, researcher using Google Scholar with journals, articles, Pdftop.com, Kdu Library and online book. Some of the journals and articles need to be purchased or log in as a member in order to read the articles and journals.
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1.8 Significance of the study
Significance of studying this topic is to analyze the number of tourists inbounds in Penang during the cultural events celebrations whether it gives impacts towards Penang’s economy or local environment. Besides that, it is important for us to know what is Penang’s mission and target for the tourism sector. Currently, Penang is being ranked at no.4 in foreign and domestic tourists arrivals in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Sabah. YB Danny Law Heng Kiang, Chairman for the State Tourism Development Culture, Arts, and Heritage says that he really hopes one day Penang would be No.1 or No.2 in foreign and domestics tourist’s arrivals in Malaysia. According to statistics, the number of hotel guests is increasing rapidly from 68.8 million in 2008 compared to 61.6 in 2007 especially during the cultural events and festivals that being celebrated every month. It shows that the graph for tourism sector will increase every year .
2.1 Literature Review
Definition of cultural events
Events are something that happens at a given place. An event is one of the top growing tourism industries and also most thrilling and yet it is connected to leisure. One of the reason why so many countries keeps on promoting their events so that they can pull more tourists from every parts of the world to come and visits their country. Basically, an event is more to persuade tourists to come or participate during their events and also can makes them stay longer in that particular area. According to Getz, events are one of the important roles in tourism industry because it can attract more tourists thus to fill up their free during their visits to that particular country (1991). Most of the tourists expects for festivals, events or attractions in a tourism destination. Events or festivals also can intensify tourists experience and perhaps can make tourists stay longer thus persuade them to extend their holidays in particular tourism destinations (Getz, 1991). Cultural events basically are for religious, public events such as arts, performances, crafts demonstrations, and many more (Richards, 1996).All the small towns are actively has cultural events for profit, or to boost the tourism industry (Goldblatt, 2002). Most of the tourists are attracted to unique cultural events and somehow they will participate when the event is held. Organizers would make the cultural events livelier to ensure that the tourists meet their satisfaction during the festivals thus to make sure that they gets more profit from the tourists. Why is it so because to increase the tourism industry and to promote our country to worldwide.
2.2 Statistics Rate Tourists Come to Penang
Statistics plays important role in counting the number of tourist’s inbounds in Penang 2005 – 2009. How many tourists have been visiting Penang? To calculate and determine the actual statistics requires big costs of money to collect data, to analyze and to present it to the state government. The number of tourists visiting Penang announced by the Tourism Ministry is based on immigration cards filled with their profiles at the by visitors and have to show it at the port of entry. Tourists are freely to move everywhere within the country unless visitors did bad mistakes.
According to Penang State Government, Penang has their own statistics rate number of international and local tourist’s arrivals in Penang in 2005 to march 2009. Within these 5 years, overall total number of tourists either locals or international is about 21, 881,848 people arrived in Penang .In 2005 the local tourists arrival is about 2,267532 people whereby the international tourists approximately about 2,084,377 people. Furthermore, the overall total number of tourists in 2006 is about 4,688,504 people which are in percentages 54% of local tourists and 46% of international visitors. Moving on, the overall total number of tourist’s arrivals in Penang in 2007 has increasing compared to year before which is 2006 which is 5,186,611 tourists. Among the 5 years between 2005- 2009, the highest amount of tourists arrival is in 2008 which is 6,307,468 visitors in percentages it would be 55% for the locals and 45% for the international tourists inbounds in Penang. Finally, in 2009 the total number of tourists inbounds in Penang was sharply dropped from 6,307,468 tourists in previous year whereby in 2009 the overall total number of tourists is 1,347,356 visitors’ arrivals in Penang (2010).
As stated by the Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen, tourist’s arrivals in 2009 has dropped from 6,307,468 to 1,347,356 tourists due to the Influenza a (H1N1) scare. On the other hand, international tourists from Europe and United Kingdom remained the same. She stated that the tourists are safe as health authorities helps to prevent the spread of the disease towards the tourists. On top of that, Datuk Ng.Yen Yen had a discussion with the directors of 44 Tourism Malaysia regarding promotional plans to persuade tourists to visits Malaysia because Malaysia is one of the countries safe from Influenza H1N1 (Bernama).
As mentioned earlier, Malacca overtakes Penang as tourist’s destination in 2009. Statistics shows that tourist’s arrival in Penang dropped from 6.3 million in 2008 to 1.3 million in 2009. Compared Penang to Malacca, Penang has a lot and good accessibility and products for example foods, beaches, cultures, and many more. Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen strictly wants the state government to do something in order to increase more tourists in 2010. She suggested that Penang has a potential to become one of the country’s leading tourists destination because Penang has 191 flights from 12 international airlines flying in Penang. Besides that, she recommend that state government should put more initiative in hiring well-trained tourists guides which experts in the field of Penang history and heritage. These tour guides, service counters, and restaurant employees should know very well and are able to share the history and stories behind heritage buildings. In this way, we can give the visitors special services and make them satisfy during their visits to Penang (Y.Y.Ng, Nov, 2010).
2.3 The Economic and Social cultural Impacts on Cultural Events in Penang
According to Gawler Visitor Information Centre, cultural events is one of the most exciting festival celebrations that can pulls many tourists from every parts of the world to make revenues in the economy of tourism industry . On top of that, behind the significant of cultural events, it has its economic and also socio cultural impacts on cultural events in Penang. There are few factors will indicate the economic and socio cultural impacts on cultural events in Penang.
Economic impacts on cultural events in Penang
As stated above, there are few factors that show the economic impacts on cultural events in Penang and it can be divided into negative and positive. Negative economic impacts on cultural events in Penang are the revenue or loses generated by tourists as to the cost incurred by the state government to these events. According to Priscilla, Penang tourism sector requires approximately RM 50 million for tourism in Penang. Based on 2008 statistics, there were 6.3 million tourists arrivals in Penang and as what the Chief Minister said that RM 500,000 is not enough for the tourism to conduct an activities and events especially which is connected to the infrastructure, promotions, and also improving the facilities (2010). The RM 50 million are required in order to have events, festivals, upgrading the quality of beaches and many more as now Penang is the third highest contribution state in tourism sector. According to Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, in 2009, the tourists arrivals in Penang has dropped to 1.3 million due to the influenza H1N1 thus there were loses generated by tourists as to the high amount of cost incurred by the state government to these tourism sector (2010). The money that they use to upgrading the facilities, promotions, events and festivals is not balance with how much money the tourists spend during their visits to Penang thus it would be a lose for Penang. The positive economy impacts on cultural impacts in Penang are can increase the tourism economy and society development in Penang (Jafari, 2000). Positive impacts on cultural events in Penang would be the job opportunities in Penang. In 2008, hotels in Penang received approximately 6.3 million tourists which are locals and also international compared to 2007 about 5.1 million tourists’ arrivals in Penang. The statistics shows that there was slightly increase of 1.2 million visitor’s arrivals which would indicate that there are so many job opportunities out there for the people who really need to work (Administrator III, 2009). This is say that they need more labors to work in such places like hotels, restaurants, tour guides, and many more. Moving on, in 2010, Penang Tourism Minister target 10 million tourists’ arrivals in 2014. Indirectly says that they need more employment to work in this industry (Administrator III, 2010).
Socio Cultural Impacts on Cultural Events in Penang
In this part of literature review, one of the socio cultural impacts on cultural events in Penang is diplomatic relations. According to The Star Online, Penang Government and Russian Embassy are thinking to organize a Russian cultural event every year in order to remembrance of the Russian battleship (Zhemchug) close by Penang coast during the World War. Vorobyeva Lyudmila Georgievna the new Russian ambassador said that their sailors we’ve been buried in Western Cemetery on Jalan Utama in Penang Island and Pulau Jerejak. Besides that, she also expresses her gratitude to Penang State because the help to clean and uphold those 12 sailors that have been buried in Western Cemetery. Furthermore, she spoke to Datuk Seri Lim Guan Eng and said that it would be much better to organize a Russian cultural event in Penang every year. She suggests that the Russian cultural event would have interesting Russian folk performances, classical, Russian music, and also Russian food as well. Thus, Malaysia can have bond relationships Russian and with the Russian cultural event it would help to encourage more Russian tourists to come to Penang in the future (2010).
In conclusion, cultural events are one of the pull factors to bring in tourists from every parts of the world regardless the international or the local tourists. To have such cultural events or festivals can increase our economy in tourism sector thus Penang can be one of the states to be recognize internationally with the uniqueness and amazing beaches, nice foods, great heritage and many more. The existence of cultural events can also promote and bond relationships between the locals and visitors by having lots of activities and know how to appreciate different cultures, religion and race.
Research design and methodology
In Chapter 3, there will be 5 main points to highlight in this sample proposal. In the first part of this topic is the general idea on the research design and methodology. Next, it is the elaboration about the introduction of the research proposal. Basically, it talks about the purpose of doing this topic and explanation about the cultural events that s being celebrated by all races in Penang. Moving on, there will be a research design in this chapter 3 such as investigating the population and the sampling techniques that is going to apply. After that, it will be explanation regarding the procedures of data collection and data analysis which will be divided into 2 sections which is primary data and secondary data. And lastly, there will be a short explanation about the questionnaires design.
Administrator III (2009) “boost in Penang tourists arrivals”
Administrator III (2010) “Speech by The Rt Hon Mr Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang- Launch of the Penang Investment Tourism Office (PITO), Singapore”
PRISCILLA DIELENBERG (2010) “CM: Penang needs RM50mil for tourism”
Ministry of tourism Malaysia (2010)”NUMBER OF TOURIST ARRIVALS FROM TEN LEADING COUNTRIES TRANSITING THROUGH PENANG AIRPORT 2004 – 2008″
Jafari, J. (2000). APEC international tourism symposium: the scientification of tourism.
65 Korea Tourism Policy, summer, Vol.2, No.3, 56-59. Seoul: Korea tourism Research Institute (KTRI).
Tourism facts sheet “gawler visitor tourism centre”
The star online (2010) “Annual Russian fest proposed”