Ascertaining the Business Sustainability of Heritage Properties in Malaysia


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Rosli Said, Rohayu Ab Majid, Koh Chuan Pey, Olusegun Olaopin Olanrele

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International Real Estate Review



The city of Georgetown, Malaysia was listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2008 due to the diverse cultural and tourism activities. The listing has brought about an impact to the heritage properties in Malaysia. Since then, the volume of business activities has increased dramatically with a positive demand for heritage properties. This scenario has increased competition in commercial activities and business owners have struggled to offer their best products to tourists, both local and foreign. However, while investors and traders thrive to locate their businesses in heritage properties, some restrictions and externalities have influenced their activities. Among the significant factors that have influenced such activities, there is the Special Area Plan which restricts renovations and conservations, building condition and building price. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess the sustainability of businesses located in the heritage properties. Eighteen criteria (factors) are identified and assessed to determine the best sustainable areas in the city and the Complex Proportional Analysis (COPRAS) is utilised as the best method to assess the issue. The findings show that each alternative has its unique characteristics that support the sustainability of businesses that occupy the heritage properties. This is the first paper of its kind to assess the sustainability of business activities that are occupying the heritage properties in Malaysia.


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Heritage, Business, Sustainability, COPRAS, Multiple-criteria decision making, UNESCO