Tourism a 'major contributor' to Malaysia's economic success

There has been much chatter surrounding the new Visit Malaysia 2020 (VMY2020) logo recently, from conversations about grammatical errors to allegations about plagiarism. Despite this, Datuk Seri Ismail bin Bakar, the 14th chief secretary to the Government of Malaysia said the new logo will be "one of the mechanisms" to attract more tourists.

According to him in an Instagram post, the nation's tourism sector has been identified as one of the major contributors to the nation's economic success, which is in line with its vision 29 years ago. Ismail added that this was also stated under Pillar 3 in the Eleventh's Malaysia Plan.

"Indisputably, Malaysia has proven its ability in the tourism industry by consistently being in the top 10 tourism destination and overall dominating ways to generate income for the nation," he said. Therefore, the new logo will not only draw more tourists, but also indirectly boost domestic tourism and create more jobs for Malaysians, Ismail added. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is expecting about 30 million tourist arrivals by next year through its VMY2020 campaign.

According to Tourism Malaysia, the rhinoceros hornbill, red hibiscus and wild fern used in the logo each showcase the diversity of experiences a tourist may embark on only on Malaysian soil. Besides giving foreign tourists a taste of Malaysia’s bountiful offerings, the features in the logo also urges local Malaysians to advocate the preservation of our country’s identity as the nation moves forward in this fast-moving era of globalisation.

Last year, Malaysia witnessed an 11.4% increase in domestic tourism expenditure, amassing a total of RM92,561 million compared to RM83,103 million recorded in the previous year. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, shopping registered the highest share of total expenditure made by a visitor for a trip at 37.6%. Also, majority of the domestic visitors were from the age group of 25 to 39 years, contributing 39.6% of the visitors.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airports Holdings also posted a 6.7% year-on-year growth to 9.0 million passengers in Malaysia this June due to its Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which coincided with the second week of the school break.

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(Photo courtesy: 123RF)