Our group investigates the issues faced by the tourism industry in Malaysia, one of the countries in the BIMP EAGA regions. The main issue in tourism are low productivity and low skilled labours. Towards Vision 2020, Malaysia needs to produce a world-class tourist destination. However, the imbalance between global demand for and supply of tourism sector urges Malaysia to produce high skilled labours and productivity. Our findings includes five factor contributing to the two main issues, which are; lack of cooperation among tourism stakeholders, negative perception of tourism graduates on tourism industry, low wages, and tourism environments. The major problem in the tourism talent includes unskilled labour and insufficient facilities.
Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines - East ASEAN Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA was launched in 1994 by the governments of these four countries. The objective was to hasten the development of the economy of Brunei and sub-regions of the three other countries through regional cooperation. BIMP-EAGA consists of Brunei Darussalam, East and West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, Maluku and Irian Jaya (in Indonesia); Sabah, Sarawak and Federal Territory of Labuan (in Malaysia) and the Island of Mindanao and Palawan Province (in the Philippines) (Asian Development Bank, 2004).
According to Asian Development Bank (1996), each subregion of the BIMP-EAGA shares a common constraint which is related to the shortage of managerial, technical and skilled labour that is necessary for economic expansion and diversification. The member countries of BIMP-EAGA agreed to the clustering of the existing Working Groups (WG) and the Lead Country per cluster during the 11th Senior Officials Meeting (Mohd. Raduan &Thirunaukurasu, 2006). It was decided that Malaysia is to be the Lead Country for cluster on Joint Tourism Development and
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