TOURISM MALAYSIA WAS formed as an agency under the former ministry of Trade and Industry, known as the Tourist Development Corporation of Malaysia (TDC) which was first established on 10 August, 1972.
The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism was formed on 20 May, 1987 and subsequently, TDC became a part of this new entity.
The Corporate Communications Division at Tourism Malaysia explains how the authority is developing and progressing with its key objectives in the country.
Q Asia Outlook (AsO): Since inception, how has Tourism Malaysia developed and progressed in terms of its key objectives and the messages it tries to get across?
Aliza Mansor (AM): While we have many functions, our primary goal has always been to stimulate and promote Malaysia as a premier tourist destination. The ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ branding portrays Malaysia as a wholesome tourist destination with a ‘Truly Asia’ representation, reflected by the presence of the Malay, Chinese, Indian as well as the indigenous people of Malaysia.
Together they make up the rich and diverse heritage and culture of our country, and in that sense, nothing has changed - we still consider this a major selling point for Malaysia - and continue to use this brand until today.
However, under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which was introduced in 2010, the Government has identified several niche areas under Tourism to focus on. For example, under the Tourism National Key Economic Area (NKEA) the Government has outlined several initiatives such as positioning Malaysia as a shopping destination, as well as developing cruise and golf tourism among others. Overall, this leads to a bigger theme of positioning Malaysia as a luxury destination, which has guided our marketing efforts in the last several years. Q AsO: To this end, how would you say Malaysia has developed in recent years as a business travel hub and what are the key reasons behind its growing appeal?
AM: Since 2010, Malaysia has supported a total of 1,726 business events which translates to some
RM8.8 billion in economic impact. Throughout this period, we welcomed more than 800,000 delegates, who collectively spent more than RM5.3 billion in the country to date. This is testament to the efforts that we have made to position our country as a premier destination for business events and meetings, and we certainly have come a long way as a business tourism destination.
One reason for our appeal for business tourism is that we are a highlydeveloped, politically stable nation located in the heart of Southeast Asia between the two booming economies of China and India. Coupled with our multicultural diversity and excellent value for money, it makes sense to make Malaysia the business hub for global associations looking to connect with Asia. Therefore our strength lies with our ability to engage with new economic centres, which we leverage through our rich historical links with China, India, and the Middle-East, while simultaneously enhancing ties with the west.