Strategies to revitalise tourism industry

KUALA LUMPUR: The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) 2021-2025 has outlined several strategies to revitalise the country’s tourism industry which has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sustainability of the tourism industry is vital as it has substantial spill over effects on the economy, whereby in 2019, the industry provided 3.6 million jobs which contributed 23.6 per cent of total employment.

According to the 12MP document released by Economic Planning Unit today, the strategies to re-energise the industry included restoring tourist confidence, providing better quality products and services, enhancing the sustainability of tourism products, strengthening brand positioning and promotion, instituting governance reforms and intensifying domestic tourism.

“Given the impacts of the Covid-19 on the global travel industry, it is anticipated that foreign tourist arrivals will begin recovering in 2023, to reach 24.3 million tourists in 2025 as well as generating RM73 billion receipts.

“Domestic visitors are expected to grow at 5.5 per cent per annum during the 12MP, reaching 212 million and generating RM100 billion in revenue by 2025,” it said.

In reviving the tourism industry and ensuring its resilience and vibrancy, the aspects of safety and hygiene will be the main focus in all branding and promotional efforts.

As such, a campaign to inculcate socially responsible culture and restore tourist confidence will be launched, the document said.

In addition, ecotourism products and services which distinctly portray Malaysian experiences will be promoted as premier products targeting high-value tourists.

“Specific monitoring mechanisms will be established at ecotourism destinations such as Kilim Geoforest Park in Kedah, Royal Belum State Park in Perak, Danum Valley in Sabah and Mulu National Park in Sarawak to ensure the sanctity and sustainability of these sites,” the document said.

Also, local communities will be engaged to increase their participation in providing unique homestay experiences, producing handicrafts and offering tour guide services that will improve their economic wellbeing.

According to the document, a more agile and effective business model will be introduced to enable the private sector to complement government efforts and measures will also be undertaken to promote Malaysia as the first-choice destination for MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) events and shopping.

In a bid to strengthen the Malaysia brand and marketing strategies, the Malaysia Truly Asia tagline will be revitalised, with attractive tour packages that will continue to be developed and marketed, showcasing destinations and activities that include culture, arts and heritage elements.

“Malaysia will also adopt digitalisation in capturing tourist data and trends in improving planning, resource deployment and decision-making,” the document said.

Also given attention in the 12MP is to improve cost-effectiveness and service delivery of departments and agencies under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac), including rationalising Malaysian representative offices abroad.

Meanwhile, domestic tourism will be given an additional boost to support the tourism industry where incentives and promotional campaigns will be intensified.

The report stated that digital platforms will also be aggressively utilised to entice domestic travellers to explore local sights and scenes, as well as community-based tourism that offers a homestay experience. – Bernama

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