What is Visit Malaysia 2020?
Visit Malaysia 2020 is the latest in the series of the Visit Malaysia campaign. In 2017, this landmark initiative was supported and endorsed by the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia. It was launched in line with the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan goals of welcoming a total 30 million tourists to Malaysia and registering RM100 billion in tourist receipts by the year 2020.
The goal of Visit Malaysia 2020 is to unite all industry players to achieving this common goal, whilst simultaneously attracting tourists from all over the globe to experience first-hand the warm hospitality and numerous tourist attractions Malaysia is well-known for.
The Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign is based on the Vision 2020 objectives which focus on the sustainability of tourism, arts and culture with the aim of reducing the negative effects of tourism development and providing direct benefits to the community through the tourism industry.
How effective is the Visit Malaysia Year campaign?
Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) was first launched in 1990 with the theme “Fascinating Malaysia. Year of Festivals”. The campaign was a huge success with Malaysia charting 7.4 million in tourist arrivals compared to 4.8 million in 1989.
The success of VMY 1990 has spurred another VMY in 1994. This time around, the theme was “Fascinating Malaysia. Naturally More”. The campaign helped increase the foreign tourist arrivals by 10.66%.
The third VMY was launched in 2007 in conjunction with Malaysia’s 50th Independence Anniversary. VMY 2007 charted a tremendous success beyond expectations with 20.97 million in tourist arrivals and RM46.1 billion in tourist receipts. This meant a rise of 3.42 million and RM9.8 billion from the previous year.
In 2014, we had another Visit Malaysia Year campaign. Themed 'Celebrating 1Malaysia, Truly Asia', VMY 2014 highlighted the unique attractions of the cultural wealth and heritage through a variety of ethnic groups living in peace and harmony. It served as the main contributor to the increase in tourist arrivals and receipts in 2014, bringing in an impressive 27.45 foreign tourists, an increase of 6.7% compared with 25.71 tourists in 2013. International tourist receipts for 2014 were RM72 billion, an increase of 10% compared with RM65.4 billion in 2013.
How has Tourism Malaysia promoted Visit Malaysia 2020?
Various strategies and dynamic efforts to boost the country’s arrivals and tourism revenue, including the promotion of Visit Malaysia Year in 2020 have been undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, as well as Tourism Malaysia.
Led by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, YB Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Malaysia showed strong presence at the 38th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, which was held from 14 to 18 January 2019. Malaysia’s participation in the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 was fruitful as it opened various opportunities with international travel agents. It also offered a good platform to promote VM2020.
Apart from this, Malaysia took on the title of Official Partner Country to promote the destination’s beautiful culture and colourful nature at this year’s ITB Berlin, which is held from 5 to 10 March. The title partnership is timely, too, as Malaysia is preparing for Visit Malaysia 2020. The titleship will entail publicity opportunities globally as well as the potential to reach out to key decision makers and top industry players.
In conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Tourism Malaysia has invited all Malaysian citizens aged 18 years and above to enter the Visit Malaysia 2020 Logo Design Competition. The competition, which began on 11 March and ends on 24 March, giving participants 14 days to design and submit a suitable logo.
In 2020, Malaysia will also host a series of international meetings, namely APEC, WCIT and CHOGM. It is the perfect time to promote Malaysia. As a host country, Malaysia will organise key meetings that involved top leaders from each country for both the government and private sectors.
Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) are collaborating with various international airlines and tour operators via the Joint International Development Tourism Programme (JIDTP) to increase connectivity and develop attractive holiday packages to Malaysia. In 2018, we have partnered with Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo Air, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, China Southern Airlines, Scoot Air and Mahan Air under the JIDTP. In 2019, we have partnered with three more new airlines such as Air Busan, Condor Air and Air Arabia to enhance connectivity to Malaysia.
For VM2020 specifically, MAHB has agreed to promote the campaign in all their assets, including the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul which is also managed by them.
Japanese multinational electronics giant, Sharp, will utilise its network of 200,000 display panels across China, Japan, Taiwan, India and ASEAN region to promote Malaysia’s tourism video content using Sharp’s latest 8K technology, on top of 10,000 panels in Malaysia.
Leading Malaysian carriers, namely Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Firefly and Malindo Air, will be partnering with Tourism Malaysia for promotional efforts through roadshows, digital marketing, familiarisation trips, etc. These airlines have also agreed to include VM2020 livery on 34 aircraft bodies (exterior) and 42 aircrafts for interior advertising and promotion (on meal tray and overhead luggage compartment) on both international and domestic routes.
An additional 6 entry points throughout Malaysia will offer Visa on Arrival facility for China and India nationals to provide ease of entry into Malaysia.
Thus, in total there are 13 entry points with VOA facility for China and India nationals:
The Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign heavily emphasizes digital marketing using various social media platforms. We are focusing on latest technology as well as social media marketing and social media influencers to bring attention to Malaysia. Our hashtags for Visit Malaysia 2020 are #vm2020, #VisitMalaysia2020 and #MalaysiaTrulyAsia.
In 2018, a total of 152 programmes were implemented utilising the special allocation for marketing and promotions provided by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU). This resulted in the sale of travel packages amounting to RM1.68 billion, which exceeded the initial RM800 million target. In fact, in 2018, tourist receipts amounted to RM84.1 billion, which was triple the return on investment of RM25.6 million from the EPU allocation.
Is there any motivational measures for example incentives or assistance to the industry players and operators for Visit Malaysia 2020?
The government has recently launched the Malaysian Tourism Promotion matching grant fund, or GAMELAN Malaysia. The RM5 million special tourism fund is aimed at assisting tourism industry players in their international tourism promotion and marketing programmes to increase international tourist arrivals, while boosting domestic tourism.
Malaysian Government is allocating RM20 million to Malaysia Healthcare Tourism Council (MHTC) to collaborate with reputable private hospitals to enable the branding of Malaysia as a destination for medical tourism. Target for 25% growth a year.
To assist the respective state governments in encouraging tourism activities, the Government will share 50% of the proceeds on tourism tax, estimated at RM50 million, with the states.
In addition, to assist and expand handicraft and homestay businesses, a RM500 million SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) tourism fund will be made available by SME Bank, enabling the government to subsidise interest rates by 2%.
The Government has also allocated a sum of RM1 billion to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund to provide financial assistance to new and existing companies involved in tourism-related activities and services.
What is the focus of Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign?
This campaign focuses on ecotourism, arts and culture, befitting with the National Ecotourism Plan 2016-2025 and the National Culture Policy which places the ecotourism, arts and culture as the main focus and the path forward in the development of the tourism industry in Malaysia.
Does Visit Malaysia 2020 have a logo and what is the meaning behind the logo?
In March this year, a competition was organised to gather ideas from Malaysians for a suitable VM2020 logo. The winning entry came from Mr. Alfred Phua Hong Fook, a graphic designer, chosen from hundreds of entries from all over Malaysia.
The winning logo incorporates various recognisable icons of Malaysia such as the hornbill, the bunga raya, the wild fern and colours of the Malaysian flag. Together, they represent the diversity of Malaysia’s culture, heritage, flora and fauna as well as experiences offered as a holiday destination.
What is the signature events for Visit Malaysia 2020?
Malaysia is a country where one can experience a multitude of cultural celebrations and festivals almost every month of the year. Among the mustsee events during VM 2020 are the Malaysia Open House (Chinese New Year, Aidilfitri, Deepavali and Christmas), Thaipusam, Tadau Kaamatan and Gawai Festival (Harvest Festival), George Town Festival, Rainforest World Music Festival, Regatta Lepa and Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival, to name a few.
What is the aspiration of Visit Malaysia 2020?
Tourism Malaysia hopes that the campaign logo, alongside all marketing and promotional activities that have been lined up, will firmly put Malaysia on the map of travellers everywhere and inspire them to experience the great diversity that Malaysia offers.
Tourism Malaysia looks forward to see Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign supported wholeheartedly by all Malaysians, the public sector and the private sector to ensure its success. As Tun Mahathir had mentioned, let us make the success of Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign our national mission and duty to the country.
Can you update us about tourism latest performance?
The tourism sector has shown impressive performance recently. Between January and May 2019, tourist arrivals recorded a growth of 4.8% with 10.95 million tourist arrivals compared to 10.45 million tourist arrivals in the same period last year.
Besides this, the first quarter performance of 2019 also showed growth in tourism revenue which reached RM21.4 billion, a surge of 16.9% compared to the same period the year before.
In 2018, with 25.8 million tourists visiting our shores, Malaysia secured 15th place among countries with the highest number of tourist arrivals.
Meanwhile, Malaysia ranked No. 21 among countries with highest tourism revenue, bringing in RM84.1 billion in tourism revenue in 2018. I understand that this information was collected by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in its Barometer Report published in May 2019.
How about domestic tourism?
Domestic tourism is also a key contributor to the economy. A total of 78.2 million domestic tourists were recorded in 2018 with a growth of 10.9% from the previous year, while domestic tourism expenditure registered a growth of 11.7% in 2018 with RM60.4 billion.
How does the tourism industry impact the national economy?
Without doubt, tourism is one of the most important sectors to ensure the country's economic and service sector growth. It is not only able to generate income but also able to provide many jobs for the people in the country.
In 2017, this industry contributed 14.9% to the national economy compared to 10.4% in 2005. Meanwhile, the number of employees engaged in the tourism industry had also increased to 3.4 million in 2017 from 1.5 million in 2005. The number of people employed in the tourism industry made up 23.2% of the total labour force.