Malaysia to surpass 30m tourist target for VMY2020

07-Sep-2019 Intellasia | The Malaysian Reserve | 6:02 AM Print This Post

THE country is expected to surpass its 30 million tourist target for the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY2020) campaign following a string of major global events and ongoing promotional efforts.

Tourism Ambassador Kabir Khan said Malaysia is likely to leverage on high travellers movement in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympic Games and Dubai World Expo, to be held over the next 16 months.

“It is very rare to have major events like this in a year. I am confident that we can achieve the set target with the active promotional campaigns,” he told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Japanese government had set 40 million tourist footfalls next year as it would host the largest sports event, while the United Arab Emirates aimed at welcoming 14 million foreign visitors to the six-month expo beginning October next year. Last year, the tourism sector contributed RM84.1 billion to Malaysia’s economy, 2.4 percent higher than 2017, after having received 25.8 million travellers.

This year, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) aims to achieve 28.1 million of tourist arrivals with RM92.2 billion in tourist receipts in its bid to reach the VMY2020 goal.

Kabir, who is also the Malaysian renowned magician and mentalist, said tourists would still come to Malaysia despite the negative sentiment due to palm oil dispute between the nation and the European Union countries.

“I believe that there is only a small segment of the audience that looks into this environmental campaign (against palm oil). Everybody has their rights and opinion, but I think they would still come here for adventure-based tourism.

“Long-distance travellers usually visit our neighbouring countries like Thailand and Singapore. We can make use of this,” he added.

Kabir was appointed as Tourism Ambassador by the government in 2016. His role was recently extended to cover the US, UK and Europe. Based on the Tourism Malaysia data, Malaysia received 1.05 million European tourists last year with RM5.5 billion in tourist receipts one of the highest per capita spending.

The Europeans had also stayed longer in the country with 8.6 nights on average, followed by travellers from West Asia with 9.7 nights.

In his promotion campaign, Kabir is expected to further showcase Malaysia to the world through his trick and shows.

He is scheduled to perform in Tokyo, Geneva, London, Dubai and Los Angeles as part of the promotional campaigns for VMY2020.

“The idea is for the tourists to come to Malaysia and get the message across through mind reading tricks and magic shows. These are the things that excite the international audiences,” he added.

Kabir is also expected to work with Tourism Malaysia on a “special project” to boost the image of the country. The project is expected to be unveiled in the first quarter of next year.

In 2015, Kabir received worldwide attention when Jack Canfield, who co-authored the all-time classic “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, featured him in his New York Times bestseller, The Success Principles 10th Anniversary Edition (HarperCollins 2015).


Category: Malaysia

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