Malaysian Journal of Youth Studies - 2010
MALAYSIAN YOUTH TOURISM MARKET: A LUCRATI VE BUT OVERLOOKED TOURIST SEGMENT
In Malaysia, youth travel is not a new phenomenon. Despite the fact that not many Malaysian youths travel abroad, they are certainly active domestic travelers and excursionists. Many industry experts believe that youth travel is the fastest growing travel market segment, with significant potential for long-term growth and economic impact to domestic tourism. This paper discusses the findings of a study on youth tourism in Malaysia. It focuses on the general scenario and direction of the Malaysian youth segment. The study aims to analyze the characteristics, patterns, behaviors and preferences of Malaysian young tourists, aged between 15 to 30 years old, who travel domestically. A total of 1443 sample was drawn from high school students, college/university students and career youth travellers via group administered survey, face-to-face survey and web-based survey. The findings reveal that Malaysian youths are motivated to travel for recreation and holiday purposes. Majority of them are college and university students aged between 20 to 24 years who travel with limited budget. Factor analysis reveals that these young tourists are more likely to enjoy activities associated to ‘Alternative Tourism’, ‘Urban Tourism’ and ‘Sports Tourism’. The research outcomes provide implications for tourism industry or government, companies (hotels, travel agencies etc.) as well as schools.
Key words: Youth Travel, Domestic Tourism, Young Tourist, Malaysia