Malaysia Banking on New Tourism Developments
to Boost Visitor Arrivals in 2018
[HD video and podcast
below] Malaysia is eyeing a total of 33.1 million
tourists and RM134 billion receipts for 2018 on the back of new
tourism developments expected for this year.
Speaking to a room full of international media attending the ASEAN
Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director
General of Tourism Malaysia, anticipated that the roll-out of new
attractions such as Desaru Coast Malaysia, a premium integrated
destination resort, and the 20th Century Fox World Malaysia theme
park, would help boost the appeal of the country as a holiday
Desaru Coast is one of Malaysia's
first integrated premium resorts, with the initial phase scheduled to open from June
2018. It offers a themed water park, known as
Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, where visitors will be able to experience
the largest wave pool in Southeast Asia, as well as the region's
first water coaster. The fully-integrated beach-front destination
will encompass globally renowned hotels and resorts namely The
Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast and
Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas.
the vast array of leisure and holistic offerings is Desaru Coast
Riverside, a retail and lifestyle village located in the heart of
Desaru Coast that delivers an all-inclusive leisure experience,
including a range of retail, eateries and entertainment outlets.
The Desaru Coast Conference Centre completes the
blend of experiences with an equipped multipurpose venue,
furnished with meeting and breakout rooms, VIP lounges, a
pre-function area, and courtyard to cater to MICE events,
corporate functions and entertainment events.
new attractions complement the country’s existing theme parks and
shopping attractions such as Perak’s Movie Animation Park Studios,
Lost World of Tambun (the only theme park that operates day and
night) and various Premium Outlet malls around the country.
New hotels expected
to open in 2018/2019 include Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur with
270 private residences; Movenpick Resort & Spa in
207 guest rooms; W Hotels with 150 rooms; and DoubleTree by Hilton
with 300 rooms and an 11,000 sq. ft. function space.
Malaysia’s visibility in Europe is also expected to be
enhanced with newly-signed brand partnerships with ITB Berlin for
2019 and as ECTAA Preferred Destination Partner for 2018.
ECTAA is the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators
Association, and they consist of 36 travel agent and tour operator
associations from 30 European countries. The partnership is
expected to give Malaysia wider global publicity as well as access
and opportunities to work closely with industry members in Europe. Malaysia
is also the Official Partner Country at ITB 2019.
Malaysia’s branding will be
further enhanced in the year 2019 with Malaysia hosting UNWTO’s
5th World Tourism Conference in Kuching, Sarawak. This follows the
success of the 4th World Tourism Conference in Penang in 2016 and
the 6th Global Summit on Urban Tourism in Kuala Lumpur last year.
Mirza said that Tourism Malaysia is now focused on increasing
accessibility to Malaysia via various airline partnerships for
scheduled and charter flights. The latest news is the launching of
the winter season flights by Germany’s Condor Air which will see
Frankfurt-KL connections beginning November of this year.
Other airline partnerships are with Malaysia Airlines,
AirAsia, Malindo Air, KLM and Singapore Airlines.
All these efforts are a lead up to the scheduled Visit Malaysia
Year (VMY) 2020 campaign which is expected to bring in 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts. The objective is
to promote Malaysia as a top-of-mind destination by highlighting
the “Travel, Enjoy and Respect” tagline, in line with the National
Eco-Tourism Plan 2016-2025.
Malaysia’s Tourism Performance
Malaysia recorded a total of 21,504,930 tourist arrivals from
January to October 2017, indicating a decrease of -2.5% compared
to 22,056,417 for the same period in 2016.
ASEAN region continued to be the largest contributor of tourist
arrivals with 74.9% share (16,101,825) of Malaysia’s total
arrivals. Among ASEAN countries, Laos registered the highest
growth of 30.6%, followed by Brunei (26.6%), Vietnam (16.7%) and
Tourist arrivals from Indonesia
registered a decline of -5.9%, followed by Singapore (-6.6%),
Myanmar (-12.6%), Philippines (-12.6%) and Cambodia (-32.8%).