Make Visit Malaysia 2020 a national mission, says Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called on Malaysians to make the ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ tourism promotion a national mission by telling and sharing the beauty, peace and wonders of the country.

He said everyone has a role to play in the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign where the government ensures that the campaign becomes a catalyst for achieving targets set under the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan.

“Our hospitality must not be merely a slogan but translated into the nature and culture of our people.

“The beauty of a place will attract but the hospitality will make people stay and return,” he said at the launch of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign logo at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) yesterday.

Also present was Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launches the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign logo at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Next to him is Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi. – BERNAMA

Dr Mahathir said tourism is one of the most important sectors to ensure the country’s economic and service sector growth, as it is not only able to generate income but also provide employment.

He said the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign is an opportunity as well as a challenge for the country to attract record numbers of visitors to Malaysia and make the country a destination of choice for leisure and business tourists.

“It is hoped that the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign will succeed in its target of 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion tourist receipts,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said increasing flight connectivity from other destinations to Malaysia is one of the initiatives to boost arrivals into Malaysia and meet the campaign targets.

“If we have better air accessibility connecting other cities with Malaysia, we will be able to receive many more tourists,” he said.

“Hence, we need to connect and reach out to “high yield” markets which are Malaysia’s target markets for this campaign, namely ASEAN, China, India, the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the success of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign also depends largely on effective promotion.

The tourism sector needs to move in tandem with digital transformation emphasising digital marketing using various social media platforms if the industry is to remain competitive, he said.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysians have to realise that the success of the campaign would benefit everyone as spillovers from the tourist industry spread to all walks and manners of other businesses and industries.

“I am indeed pleased when informed that this national project saw the participation of various levels and sectors, ministries, agencies, departments, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and tourism industry players themselves,” he said.