Research Student: Norhasliza Binti Ghapa
Consumer legal protection in cross border tourism industry
PhD title: Regulatory Reform of the Malaysian Package Travel Tourists Protection: Special Reference to UK
Tourism industry is one of the main contributors for Malaysia economic growth. Over the last 15 years, the tourism industry has undergone substantial changes in the pattern of tourism due to the rise of the low cost airlines, the rise of internet, grow appetite of tourists to be more active in the selection of components and direct selling of holiday to tourists. Varieties of tourism products including traditional pre-arranged package travel, dynamic package travel as well as linked travel arrangement have been marketed by the tour operators and travel agents to tourists. In the process of buying that product, tourists search and acquire information on price, quality and terms either from direct inspection of product attributes during pre-purchase, intermediaries, past experience, interested sellers or information-gathering activities of others as to permits them to make informed decision and efficient choices.
However, market does not always provide the type and amount of information which consumers need. In consequence, that inadequacy supply of information detriment the rights of tourists as consumers. Therefore, in order to respond to that problem, a focus will be paid on regulation, by making information more extensively accessible, accurate, and affordable, which may protect consumers against information inadequacies and the consequences thereof, and may encourage the operation of healthy, competitive market. Therefore, the overarching research question is whether informational regulation is the best approach to protect Malaysian package travel tourists.
The methodology to be undertaken for this study is principally qualitative by doctrinal research and comparative legal analysis. The proposal for regulatory reformation is to provide effective, efficient, appropriate and actionable protection for the tourists who purchased package travel from the local tour operators and travel agents. This thesis contributes new knowledge to the field of consumer protection and tourism industry which may serve as a starting point for researchers interested in this area. Furthermore, the results of this study are expected to be useful for guiding policies action through legal implementation in the future.