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Malaysia-Truly Asia! The Time is NOW! The Place is Malaysia!


Show of Malaysia
at The Asean Tourism Forum
Jan 21-24'08

Malaysia-Truly Asia!

The Time is NOW! The Place is Malaysia!.
Malaysia's Minister of Tourism Datuk Tengku
Bkk at The Asean Tourism Forum Jan21-24'08
A friendly Minister, a breath taking presentation and gala dinner which had guests  over eating the mouth watering delicacies –that is what makes for a true and unforgettable experience of hospitality-from Truly Asia, Malaysia.

Beautiful models strutting the catwalk donning exquisite Malaysian fashions, performers from different regions of Malaysia putting on a dazzling show and display of ethnic costumes and music, everything about the presentation of Malaysian Tourism was flawlessly executed at the Gala Dinner and show at the Asean Tourism Forum held in Bangkok on 24th January 2008.
The friendly and articulate Datuk Seri Adnan Tengku Mansor, Minister of Tourism Malaysia took time off on the eve of the function to speak to ASEANAFFAIRS.
After a successful 2007 campaign for Tourism Malaysia, what can we expect in 2008, I began by asking the Minister?

“2007 was a very successful year. We exceeded our targets, from 44.5B to 46.7 B Ringitt. We have decided to extend our ‘Visit Malaysia’ campaign to Aug 31st of 2008. We are repositioning Lankawi. We will be advertising more on terrestrial and electronic and cable television networks. ‘Heart of South East Asia’ will be the emphasis of our campaigns. All campaigns will be focusing on destination based tourism marketing. Destinations such as Kota Bahru, Cameron highlands, Genting highlands, Sungai Melaka, Penang, etc. Many people don’t realize that Kuala Lumpur has many things to offer other than just the twin towers. KL has the best zoo in South East Asia, excellent shopping malls, gourmet delights. It’s a fun and exciting city and a very cosmopolitan environment.”

On the important markets that Malaysia tourism is focusing its efforts on, he said “Singapore contributes 10m visits to Malaysia, almost 2.5 times their population. Brunei 3 times their population.” As for Thailand, the Minister said he would like to see more tourists coming to Malaysia from the Kingdom. In 2007 against a target of 2million visits from Thailand the actual number was way below the target at 1.3 million only. To improve the situation, more connectivity was required between Malaysia and Thailand. In this regard the Minister had discussions with budget airline NOK Air to connect secondary cities such as Phuket-Langkawi, Hadyai-Langkawi. Further more the help of media was needed to popularize Malaysia as an attractive tourist destination to Thais, he noted. Familiarization trips through out the year was to be organized for the media to highlight Malaysia as an all year tourist destination, he added.

Tourism is a very important industry for Malaysia. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi warmly invites the world to visit Malaysia in TV commercials. Where in the world do you see the head of State taking such an initiative? And Datuk Adnan Tengku is ably steering the Ministry towards achieving outstanding tourism receipts and getting record number of visitors to Malaysia. In fact the Ministry functions very much on the lines of private corporations. At the beginning of the year all country officers attend a meeting with the Minister where budgets and targets are set and then monitored through out the year. In 2007, only 7 countries did not achieve their targets. All the officers in charge of these countries (Russia, Japan, Australia, UK, etc) have to explain in detail why they failed to achieve their targets.

“We have to be competitive in this era of ever increasing competition from countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam who are aggressively marketing their tourist destinations and we have to perform and deliver in tune with the times.” the minister concluded by saying.

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