Domestic market will sustain VM2020: Tourism chief

12 Feb 2020 / 18:26 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Tourism Malaysia will be banking on the domestic market to generate more traction in its Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign efforts, which is facing setbacks in the wake of global health concerns following the Covid-19 infection.

Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof said this move, based on statistics that showed 86% of hotel receipts were from Malaysians themselves, will boost the country’s tourism revenue further.

In fact, he added, over RM70 billion was spent by local tourists last year, mainly on accommodation and shopping, entertainment and sporting activities.

Tourism Malaysia will now focus on two domestic tourism categories: family holidays and company trips, Musa said.

“The domestic tourism industry is an important one as it owned and generated by Malaysians, where large or small families spend on visiting local places and attractions, especially during the school and festive holidays.

“Besides this, we encourage companies to organise team building, family day or even training sessions for their employees at hotels that have the necessary facilities,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama recently.

Based on numbers, Musa said Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang were the main tourist generating states with its people forming the group that travels out the most.

On the other hand, Malacca, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak were considered major tourist receiving states, he added.

Based on these figures and current developments, Musa urged local tourism players to offer interesting and reasonable holiday packages to ensure VM2020’s success, in the process helping to boost the country’s tourism industry.

Musa said VM2020’s success was not entirely reliant on just a single market segment, as Tourism Malaysia was also in partnership with other South East Asian member nations to boost and promote the regional market on the strength that 69% of Malaysia’s tourist arrivals were from the Asean region.

“Malaysia enjoys great cooperation with our fellow Asean member countries, especially Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, in which we have created ‘twin destination’ programmes that packages tourism destinations from both nations together,” he said.

Malaysia’s commitment as a member nation is further underscored by its efforts to support the ‘Asean Tourism Packages 2019-2020’ which promotes Asean as a single destination offering 69 tourism packages, covering more than a single Asean nation for each package.

As a member of the Tourism Recovery Action Committee established by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac), Musa said Tourism Malaysia played an important role to ensure tourists continue to place their faith in the government’s efforts to handle the Covid-19 situation, especially where security and preventive measures are concerned.

He said the decision to impose a temporary travel ban on arrivals from Chinese provinces of Hubei, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, which are under lock down, was a positive move that sends a clear message to tourists from other markets that Malaysia had taken its own Covid-19 preventive measures, and therefore, was a safe place to visit.

Musa said this was evident during the Thaipusam festival recently when many tourists visited temples nationwide to be part of the celebrations, which he added was a sign of their confidence that Malaysia has the situation under control. - Bernama

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