Crisis management for the tourism sector : Malaysia's response to the Asian financial crisis
The purpose of this research was to investigate crisis management in the context of the tourism sector by means of a case study of the Malaysian response to the Asian financial crisis. Not only was the reaction of the Malaysian government to the crisis examined but the possibility of developing a strategy to protect the sector against future crises was also explored. Primary data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with senior Malaysian public and private sector policy makers. Areas of interest addressed included the crisis management measures employed to assist the recovery of the tourism sector; the lessons learnt from the crisis: the potential for public/private sector cooperation to develop a crisis management plan for the tourism sector; and how such a plan might be implemented. It was generally felt by the participants that the measures employed had been effective in restoring the tourism sector status quo, although there was some concern expressed over how long this had taken. It was agreed that there is a need for a sectoral crisis management plan but no consensus as to who should fund it, which figures could be used as indicators of the approach of a crisis and how they should be collected, and what form any such plan should take. This research indicates that there is a case for the government to work with the private sector to develop some sort of crisis management provision for the tourism sector. However, it is apparent that it may be extremely problematic to formulate an appropriate plan and there may be difficulties as to how it should be funded and who should take responsibility for its implementation. It appears that an approach at state level would have more potential than a federal plan but more research in this area is required.