City-City Tourism Collaboration in the Straits of Malacca Development Region: Key Success Factors

Article excerpt

Abstract

City to city collaboration has emerged as one of the regional initiatives to promote and sustained economic growth in many parts around the world. Within the Asean cooperation, city to city tourism collaboration is also an emerging sector. Although existing literatures assert on key success factors that lead to economic and cultural collaboration, little has been done to explore and elaborate deeply the key success factors in the city to city (C2C) tourism collaboration the Straits of Malacca Development Region. This article aims to identify key success factors of the city to city tourism collaboration in the Straits of Malacca Development Region, particularly deriving from the Malacca-Riau Provincial's initiatives. This article is based on both qualitative and quantitative data collection undertaken in 2010 in Malacca and Riau-Pekan Baru. The study found that key success factors of C2C tourism collaboration are the enabling leadership, mutual and shared vision and goals, participating communities and social cultural ties, geographical, interconnectivity and accessibility as well as a growing market demand. The homogeneity in social cultural ties is not a competing factor, instead, is a complementing factor in the C2C tourism collaboration. It is suggested that all key success factors be considered at different level and scale of collaboration especially at smaller city-city tourism collaboration in the Straits of Malacca Development Region in the near future.

Keywords: city-city collaboration, tourism, leadership, participating communities, emerging regional consumer, strait of the Malacca development region

1. Introduction

City to city tourism (C2C Tourism) is one of the strategic collaborations often been employed and developed in the regional, national, cities, Straits and cross border development (Buis, 2009; Sheffield, 2006; Wong et al., 2011; Kim, 2010; Bramwell & Sharman, 1999; Ho, 1997; Habitat, 2001). As such, the relevant city stakeholders and practitioners, including city mayors have initiated concerted efforts in materializing these C2Cs in somewhat similar names such as sister cities, twinning city, city cooperation, city collaboration, strategic alliances and city networking (Villier, 2009; Tjandradewi & Marcutullio, 2009; Jamal & Getz, 1995; Reid et al., 2008; Mandják et al., 2011). Whatever names that have been suggested and established during the collaborative projects, city to city tourism has created a wide range of opportunities; including economic growth, job creation, heritage enhancement, business and linkages among tourism providers in both cities (Sofield, 2006; Jamal & Getz, 1995; Aas et al., 2005; Wong et al., 2011; Mandják et al., 2011). Historically, city to city tourism has been practiced by most of the elite classes and colonial kingdom (Evers & Gerke, 2006; Habibah et al., 2009). Visits from the royal families and elites during the colonial period in Southeast Asia for instant, have provided leisure lifestyles to the masses (Tjandradewi & Marcotullio, 2009). In contemporary era, C2C tourism collaboration is expected not only to increase intra-flows of tourists between cities, generate value chain between tourism providers but also accelerate the overall economy on both cities and regions of cooperation or collaboration (Shih, 2006; Wong et al., 2011, 2010; Weimer, 2009).

While there are numerous examples from the city to city tourism collaborations in developed countries, the complexity on how the city to city tourism takes place in the Southeast Asian region, growth triangles and in the Straits, development is still understudied. However, it has been a growing body of the Straits collaboration lately among ASEAN and the Asia Pacific scholars (Wong et al., 2010, 2011; Kim, 2010; Tjandradewi & Marcotullio, 2009; Zhi & Gu, 2009; Shih, 2006). In fact, between the ASEAN countries, tourism collaboration is one of the initiatives often utilized for advancing the ASEAN Economic Community 2015. …