Published on Saturday, December 26, 2020

Malaysia unveils 10-year tourism development plan

With an estimated decline of $25 billion in tourism receipts in 2020, Malaysia launched a 10-year plan to resurrect its battered tourism sector.

The plan will position the country as a leader in sustainable and inclusive tourism, and as an eco-tourism destination.

That will mean finding a balance between tourism development and conservation, says Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

"Clearly, we have been impacted by the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic this year and economic activities related to the tourism industry... are being forced to face their most difficult moments," Muhyiddin said during the virtual launch of the national tourism policy.

It will create Special Tourism Investment Zones for tourism projects through public-private cooperation that can attract more international investment.

"Our target is to brand Malaysia as 'Top of Mind Ecotourism Destination of the World'. I believe that resource sustainability can drive new economic growth and create employment opportunities," he said.

The policy will follow the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The PM says it needs to shift in focus towards digital technology to speed up revival of the tourism industry.

"Technology advancement can strengthen the network between industries and pave the way for new innovative sub-sectors in the tourism industry. Therefore technology-based tourism investment must be looked into and encouraged," he said.

Malaysia had targeted 30 million tourist arrivals through its Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, but was forced to close borders in March due to the pandemic.


Written by Ray Montgomery, Asia Editor

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