Tuesday, October 22, 2013

28 million tourists, RM76bil in receipts targeted for Visit Malaysia Year 2014

The Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 initiative targets to attract a new record of 28 million international tourist arrivals and RM76 billion in tourist receipts, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Aptly themed “Celebrating 1Malaysia, Truly Asia”, he said the initiative will showcase the unique selling points of the country’s rich culture and heritage with many ethnic groups living in harmony.

“VMY 2014 is not just about organising more events and intensifying marketing and promotion, more importantly; it is getting the nation ready by offering our Malaysian hospitality and changing mindset to be a tourist-friendly nation.

“In the process, VMY 2014 mobilises the entire industry and nation to move up the value chain of tourism product and services offering thus contributing towards making Malaysia as a top-of-the-mid tourist destination,” he said in his opening remarks at the World Tourism Conference 2013 here, yesterday.

Also present were Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Executive Director Zoltan Somogyi.

The three-day conference is being attended by 678 delegates from 46 countries including the United Kingdom, Portugal, China, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Guatemala, Singapore and Brunei.

Muhyiddin said the government’s role to target and advance tourism as a priority sector had been the game changer in the industry.

He said it could be viewed as two distinct phases, with the first traced back to the period from 1998 to 2010, whereby tourism was identified as a key sector to address the economic downturn and generate new sources of growth.

The government, he said, provided the necessary policies and institutional framework as well as enabling environment and facilitation for tourists.