Digitalisation important for Sarawak's tourism industry, says chief minister

Sarawak's chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the tourism industry must leverage digitalisation to remain competitive in the global market.

This is especially crucial as marketing platforms, customer personalisation and integrated technology play a main role in an increasingly connected future, The Star reported. He stressed the importance of looking into digital marketing strategies, online reputation, as well as the use of social media and mobile phones throughout the customer journey. One huge advantage of digitalisation, the chief minister said, is gathering data and analytics which will enable companies to personalise services and experiences, which can in turn attract consumers.

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg's comments follow the opening of Kuching's Digital Economic Hub (DEH) this January, which serves to educate the younger generation and encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. This is done by exposing them to digital technology and offering local businesses and industries an opportunity to adopt digital technology into their industries.

According to DEH's CEO Eddie Wee, education is required to achieve digital economic transformation. Only when companies are involved in the digital economy through the education and adoption of technology, can the state then expect to undergo digital transformation.

Malaysia has been focusing on building a digital economy recently, with Sabah approving an extra RM1m grant to boost digital economy, as well as Telekom Malaysia and Huawei Technologies collaborating to boost the nation's digital economy and broadband. Last year,  Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announcing during last year’s Budget 2018 speech that RM83.5 million is being set aside to construct infrastructure for the first phase of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in Aeropolis, Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The government is also implementing the Malaysia Digital Policy, in line with the emerging Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the era of digital economy. The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation also introduced Malaysia Digital Hub to support start-ups, and its communities, with tech and digital co-working spaces.

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