Tourism Malaysia taps on Visa in latest marketing push

Tourism Malaysia has tied up with Visa Malaysia to support the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) in driving inbound tourism. The long-term partnership also aims to promote Malaysia as a preferred travel destination, especially in the shopping segment.

Visa will leverage its data analytics capabilities and research to produce useful traveller insights, and work with Tourism Malaysia to transform tourists' travel experiences. The partnership will make use of the Visa Preferred Merchant Programme which features a variety of rewards and benefits for cardholders, including dining, shopping, family entertainment, and medical wellness, These benefits will be shared through Visa and Tourism Malaysia’s digital media and distribution channels globally. In addition, Visa will also help to promote domestic tourism in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia’s Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign and share a variety of offers that are relevant for local Visa cardholders.

According to Tourism Malaysia, shopping was the biggest share of tourist expenditure for Malaysia for the past four years, forming 35.2% of the total tourist receipts in January to September 2019 at RM23.3 billion. This was an increase of 14.4% compared to 2018.

Musa Hj. Yusof, director general Tourism Malaysia, said MOTAC and Tourism Malaysia want to provide a conducive environment for businesses in Malaysia to drive and boost tourism growth. "With Visa coming on board as a preferred payments partner to help promote Malaysia as a tourist destination, we are confident that we can attract more inbound tourists and enhance their experiences here in the country," he added.

Visa's country manager for Malaysia, Ng Kong Boon, said the country has many outstanding travel spots and it wants to help achieve Tourism Malaysia's goal of becoming one of the world’s top tourist destinations. "We are able to leverage our analytics capabilities to provide insights on travellers visiting Malaysia and our extensive global network to further help Tourism Malaysia promote Malaysia as a leading tourist destination in the world,” Ng said.

This year was intended to be a momentous year for Malaysia with its Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign. First launched in 1990, this is the fifth edition of Visit Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia's spokesperson previously told A+M that its KPI for the campaign remains unchanged when the COVID-19 outbreak hit Southeast Asia. However last month, MOTAC said it is restructuring its Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign to focus on new markets, after witnessing a significant drop in the number of tourists coming from the China. Mainland Chinese tourists is the third largest contributor in tourist arrivals to the country, and its initial target for that market this year was 3,485,000.

MOTAC's minister Mohammadin Ketapi said the new markets include European countries, Australia, Middle East, Central Asia, Russia and East Asia. Meanwhile in Southeast Asia, MOTAC has a;lso come up with a "Quick Win" strategy for its neighbouring ASEAN member countries as an alternative campaign to restore the country’s tourism.

Separately, to gear up for Visit Malaysia 2020, Tourism Malaysia picked The IO Movement to handle global advertising and promotion duties worth. M&C Saatchi was selected to handle digital marketing duties in Europe for nine months. The agency is also responsible for creating a music video for the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign. A+M understands the appointments were made last year.