PETALING JAYA: Local tourism agencies will be looking at new, innovative methods to build and boost the local tourism industry, which has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof (pic) said the focus right now will be on building domestic tourism by intensifying the promotion of Cuti-Cuti Malaysia and Malaysia Truly Asia campaigns.
“The approaches include launching of new and attractive travel packages that will highlight local tourism products, smart partnership with corporate companies and influential brands, as well as promoting products/travel destinations that are greatly affected by Covid-19, ” he told StarBiz.
To boost border tourism with neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Brunei, Musa said familiarisation trips with international media will also be arranged, with the highlight of tourism products that are easily accessible via ERL, MRT and LRT.
“Heightened safety measures will be included as part of a move to boost confidence in domestic tourism. For example, the Malaysian Association of Hotels is planning to introduce hotel certification endorsed by relevant authorities via ‘Clean & Safe Malaysia’ campaign.”
Musa added that social media promotion will play a bigger part than before.
“Currently, Tourism Malaysia is organising a Short Tourism Music Video Contest by encouraging participants to get creative during the MCO through singing, playing musical instrument and performing a sketch based on the theme of tourism.
“Town hall sessions by the Tourism Recovery Action Committee will also be conducted to inform the public of our tourism sector’s direction and aspiration at the national and state levels, other than interviews for radio or television programmes.”
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said technology will play an even bigger role in all of MATTA’s activities and will also be one of the key directional changes that the association will be pushing.
“The main goal of MATTA is to ensure that its members will be well-equipped with the right tools and knowledge to fully capitalise on new travel trends and developments post Covid-19.
“MATTA is already working to revamp and re-imagine many of the promotional and business campaigns it traditionally conducts and we are working on some very exciting projects for the consumers that we will reveal once travel bans are uplifted.”
Tan said MATTA is already putting in place plans to “re-open doors” to the global marketplace for its members once the opportunity arises.
“Our international reach and our involvement with many of the world’s leading tourism organisations means that MATTA is in a very good position to make this happen, ” he said.
Musa said change in the tourism ecosystem will be inevitable, adding that new measures will need to take place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak and to fit the “new norm”.
“It may take months for the crippling tourism economy to recover from the effects of the outbreak. We are expecting major changes in terms of psychography or the attitude of tourists where they are more likely to restrict their movements within safe zones in compliance with the social distancing measure as advised by health authorities.
“Tourists will more likely be inclined towards eco-tourism and prefer secluded spots or ‘off the beaten tracks’ to avoid crowds, such as Taman Negara, islands and beaches, eco-adventure destinations as well as rural areas.”
He said change will also be seen in terms of the share of tourist types as the pandemic will likely result in the reduction of tourist groups.
“More tourists are likely to prefer travelling as independent tourists with self-guided trips and smaller group tours.”
Musa said Tourism Malaysia continues to promote Malaysia virtually by leveraging on social media platforms in order to engage with potential travellers around the world.
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