PETALING JAYA: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry has been urged to step up digital marketing efforts and collaborate with industry bodies in overseas promotions.
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) also urged the ministry to abolish the tourism tax and provide incentives to upgrade the quality of tourism vehicles that cater to high-spending tourists.
“We are glad the new government recognised the importance of tourism in generating foreign exchange, creating jobs and stimulating the economy,” Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said today in congratulating Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi for his appointment as the new minister.
“Last year, 25.95 million foreign visitors spent RM82.1 billion in Malaysia and domestic visitors spent another RM83.1 billion within the country.”
He said Matta is eager to work closely with Mohamaddin to achieve tourism targets, modernise outdated laws, introduce incentives to spur the industry and step up enforcement against illegal and unlicensed operators.
The Arts Live Festivals and Events Association (Alife) also lauded Mohamaddin’s appointment.
“We at Alife look forward to the consolidation of arts into the ministry,” said Para Rajagopal, President of Alife.
“We hope that the ministry of the new Malaysia would recognise the role of major arts, entertainment and sporting events in creating streams of revenue in the tourism sector and continue to enhance the events industry in the country.”
According to Para, at least 200 major events had been held in Malaysia between 2012 and 2017. These events created a revenue of RM3.13 billion for the local economy from tourist expenditures with the support of Malaysia Major Events.
Of the RM3.13 billion, 30% were created in the hotel industry (three to five stars and budget hotels), 30% the retail industry, 25% the entertainment industry (leisure activities and food & beverages) and 15% revenues were created in other industries such as transport, tour operators etc.
“While we continue to promote destination and cultural arts tourism, let’s not discount the role of other major events such as international sporting and contemporary art events in attracting international tourists into our beloved country, encouraging tourist expenditure and job creations,” he added.