BANGKOK (Bernama): Malaysia is keen to work with its Asean neighbours under 'Asean trails', where a traveller can explore the various Asean countries in just one trip, said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said this is crucial in attracting long-haul tourists to reinvigorate the tourism industry in the post-Covid-19 period.
"We are looking into promoting tourism trails within Asean where long-haul tourists can travel, for example, by land from Thailand to Malaysia and later Singapore or other parts of Asean. We want the world to enjoy the beauty of Asean.
"We want to sell Asean. We want to share the economic benefits through tourism in the region especially when there are more products and services post-Covid-19,” she told Bernama here on Thursday (Aug 18).
Nancy is in Bangkok to attend the 11th Apec Tourism Ministerial Meeting and related meetings.
Earlier she met her counterpart Phiphat Ratchakitprakan and discussed matters and issues related to tourism. She also met representatives from the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA).
Nancy also said Malaysia may revise the tourist arrival target in September as the industry continues to pick up.
"The ministry may set a new target to achieve a higher number of tourist arrivals as more countries reopen borders and ease travel restrictions.
"Therefore, we need more collaboration and promotions to boost tourist arrivals,” she said.
In July, Malaysia announced a new target for international tourist arrivals as it has surpassed its initial target of two million arrivals with RM8.6 billion in tourism receipts. Hence, Malaysia revised its target to welcoming 4.5 million international tourists with RM11.1 billion in tourism revenue this year.
She added that Thailand is one of Malaysia’s essential short-haul markets.
"Malaysia aims to attract 800,000 Thai tourists this year,” she said.
In 2019, Malaysia welcomed 1,884,306 arrivals from Thailand, and almost 70 per cent of Thai tourists were repeat travellers. - Bernama