Petronas Twin Tower Essay

Topics: EconomyTourism

This sample paper on Petronas Twin Tower Essay offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.

As Asia in the recent past has opened itself up economically to the world through trade and business, so too has it opened up to tourism and the benefits that come with this new and ever-changing industry. More specifically, the variety of visitor attractions on offer around the world has developed significantly in the past twenty years (Stevens, 2000), especially in Asia, and is influenced by a variety of factors.

This essay will examine two distinctly different yet similar visitor attractions in China and Malaysia, namely the Great Wall of China and the Petronas Towers, and appropriately analyse issues such as product development, market segmentation, transportation, and the overall business environment. By comparing and contrasting these attractions, it can be seen that they overlap continuously to give a dynamic representation of the visitor attraction market as a whole.

Before delving into the history of these attractions, the term visitor attraction as it relates to the management and organisation of attractions in general must be defined.

A complete definition, given by the English Tourism Council, states that “A permanently established excursion destination, a primary purpose of which is to allow public access for entertainment, interest or education; rather than being principally a retail outlet or venue for sporting, theatrical or film performances. It must be open to the public without prior booking, for published periods each year, and should be capable of attracting tourists or day visitors as well as local residents.

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Petronas Towers Design Concept

In addition, the attraction must be a single business, under a single management… nd must be receiving revenue directly from visitors. “(English Tourism Council, 2000b:24) This is relevant for both destinations, with the Great Wall allowing public access for education, open without prior booking, attracting all different visitors as well as local residents, and is receiving revenue from these tourists and The Petronas Towers, which is open without prior booking, attracting international visitors as well as locals especially for shopping interests, and is owned under a single management.

Defining these two attractions in depth, it is found that both attractions fall under the category of “Human made buildings, structures and sites that were designed for a purpose other than attracting visitors. ” (Swarbrooke, 2001:5) As well, since both attractions are owned by the public sector, their main priorities are “conservation, education, public access, and increased leisure opportunities for the community. ” (Swarbrooke, 2001:10)

In order to fully understand these two visitor attractions, it is imperative to go back to their beginnings and uncover the rich historical development that each attraction possesses. The Great Wall is by far the most famous fortification in the world, stretching more than 8,850 kilometres across China. (BBC, 2009) Its early origins can be seen from the 5th century through to 1644 when Beijing was taken by the Mongols from the North at the Shanhaiguan entrance of the Great Wall. Turnbull, 2007:6) Most of the ancient walls have eroded since then, and the Great Wall that most tourists witness today is that from the Ming Dynasty. It should be noted that the costs of the wall were great, with a possible one million people losing their lives building the wall throughout history, it has been given the title of “the longest cemetery on earth. ” (Noll, 2010)

Tourism can be said to have been developed from the 17th-20th century along with The Great Wall’s fame and popularity, reaching attraction status in 1957 with the opening of Badaling. Visit CHN, 2009) Restoration and rebuilding took place throughout the 20th century for tourism development and benefits, and in 1987 was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 2010) With the opening up of trade with the West and it’s induction into the World Trade Organisation in 2001, China has developed adequate tourism facilities and attractions centred on the Great Wall for the new, large influx of visitors including museums, restaurants, hotels, chair lifts, and souvenir stalls to name a few. (Pillai, 2010)

Contrasting the extensive historical development of The Great Wall going back centuries, The Petronas Twin Towers are a relatively new attraction. The Petronas gas and oil company began in 1974, and is still today owned by the Malaysian government. As of 2009, Petronas has risen to 80th largest company in the world according to Fortune 500 as well as being Asia’s most profitable company. (Fortune Magazine, 2009) In 1990, a competition was held to find the best architect and design group to develop a world renowned symbol for Malaysia. Pelli & Crosby, 2005:7) Developing on the 100 acre site that formerly belonged to the Selangor Turf Club, the winning architects Cesar Pelli and Djay Cerico under the direction of Julius Gold, began work in 1991 on what was to be the Petronas Towers. (Pelli & Crosby, 2005:8) After 7 years, $1. 6 billion dollars, 10,000 workers, and eight million square feet of shopping and entertainment facilities later, the Petronas Towers were complete. From 1998-2004, the Petronas Towers held the position as tallest building in the world, which ended when it was surpassed by Taipei 101.

The Skybridge, which is the main tourist attraction, is the highest two story bridge in the world, and only 1700 tickets are given out per day. (Petronas Twin Towers, 2010) As the historical context has been put into place, it is now relevant to examine the provisions at both visitor attractions to gain better insight into their respective operations. The Great Wall of China operates at several different sites along the Wall, although for a detailed analysis, focus will be placed on the site of Badaling which is the most popular entry since it is the nearest to Beijing.

The entry to the Badaling section of the Great Wall is located 200 meters to the North of the pass, where there is a Tourism Information Centre with an information desk offering guide maps, routes, and services all in one spot. (badaling. gov. cn, 2009) As well, “the increasing need to generate alternative revenue streams has led to an expansion of the core activities in many new and existing attractions, with very few now opening without some element of retail or catering. (Fyall, Garrod, Leask, & Wanhill, 2008:5) This can be seen through the entry, where the tourist will find souvenir shops, handicraft artists, and paintings, some of which are prize winning works by the Beijing Tourist Commodity Design Competition. (badaling. gov. cn, 2009)

South of the pass, is the Badaling Hotel and International Dining Room that was built in 1986 by the Beijing Municipal Government and has received since then, more than 100 foreign heads of states, including U. S. presidents and the Queen, as well as nearly two million tourists. badaling. gov. cn, 2009) Some of the more recent provisions have been controversial, in that they may be changing the feel of the Great Wall from a heritage and cultural site, to a theme park style attraction. These provisions include bear pits, where tourists can feed the local sun bears, as well as the Biconvex Pulley which lifts tourists to the fourth tower (of eight) for a round trip price of 60 yuan. (Travel China Guide, 2010) At other sites, such as Mutianyu, toboggan rides down are a popular new attraction.

This could be due to current trends indicating “an increasing need for attractions to appeal to broader audiences and to generate ever greater levels of external income, resulting in an increased mix of product offering and choice for the visitor. ” (Fyall, Garrod, Leask, & Wanhill, 2008:7) There are also cultural offerings on display, including the Circle Cinema and the China Great Wall Museum. The Circle Cinema is the largest 360 degree circle cinema in the country. (badaling. gov. cn, 2009) The Great Wall movie is presented on the seamless screen using the latest technology and 10 projectors.

Next door is the China Great Wall Museum, which looks at the Great Wall in its entirety from its history, military achievements, architecture, culture, and art. Its main purpose is for education, with interim exhibitions and academic seminars. (badaling. gov. cn, 2009) Comparing the Great Wall attractions to the Petronas Towers, it can be seen that the latter is more focused on commercialism than history and therefore offers a different array of provisions for tourists and locals alike. Until recently, the main attraction was the Skybridge at the Petronas Towers which connects the two buildings on the 41st floor.

A total of 1700 tickets were given out for free at 9:00am every morning and groups of 15 are taken up to the bridge. Afterwards, the visitor could then go shopping in the adjoined Suria Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) Shopping Complex. However, recently, many new changes have taken place to expand the attractions offered. (Petronas Twin Towers, 2010) Visit packages are now be offered that not only include a visit to the famous Skybridge, but also “a visit to an observation deck on a top floor of Tower 2 and a meal at the Malaysian Petroleum Club (MPC) within Tower 2 of the building. (Petronas Twin Towers, 2010) These packages will be priced from as low as RM3 for the Skybridge only up to RM350. Sometimes destinations only develop because of one specific visitor attraction, which is the case of the Petronas Twin Towers.

Thus it is said, “The marketing of these destinations tends to focus on these attractions so that they are often the symbol of the destination in the minds of tourists. ” (Swarbrooke, 2001:22) At the Suria KLCC, there are a range of luxury shops including Marks and Spencer, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany and Co. s well as restaurants, a cinema, the Philharmonic Orchestra and Concert Hall, an art gallery, and a Science Discovery Centre. (Suria KLCC, 2010) The shopping and attractions bring economic benefits to Kuala Lumpur, and broaden the appeal of the Petronas Towers within the destination as it is designed with a seamless flow and user-friendly experience. This is significant, since “visitors want attractions which are easy to use and where as little of their precious leisure time as possible is wasted on mundane tasks such as queuing. (Swarbrooke, 2001: 166)

Before focusing on the market potential for the Great Wall, it is important to understand its catchment area. World famous attractions such as the Great Wall have a large, international catchment area with visitors from all over the world coming to the attraction. Identifying the catchment area is “crucial because its population size determines likely visitor numbers and because it helps marketers to decide where to place advertisements for the attraction. (Swarbrooke, 2001:77) As well, the importance of catchment areas is pertinent as “unlike commodities, the product offer has to be consumed at the place of production. ” (Fyall, Garrod, Leask, Wanhill 2008:349) However, while the international market is important, it is crucial to understand that domestic market potential is far greater than the international inbound market.

This is due to the introduction of Golden Weeks, an improving economy, and a rise in the middle class- mainly “higher income urbanites. (Mintel, 2010) To demonstrate this increase, the tourism sector has risen by 9% in revenue in 2009, and is looking to achieve an increase of 14% in 2010. (International Herald Tribune, 2010) Although leisure travel is a fairly new concept to the Chinese, as the economy grew in the 1990’s, domestic trips grew 54% from 1996-2006. (IHT, 2010) The year 1999 saw the introduction of the Golden Weeks holidays aimed to increase domestic tourism. These weeks included the Lunar New Year (January-February), the National Holiday (October), and the government is looking to reinstate Labour Day Holiday (May). (Mintel, 2010)

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