KUCHING: Tourist arrivals were still down by 30.7% this year as of June as a result of the SARS effect, said Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Abdullah Jonid.
To regain market share, Abdullah urged all players in the tourism industry to make a concerted effort to strengthen their marketing and promotional campaign.
We need to be more aggressive and focused in our promotional strategies.
There is an urgent need to re-assess and re-evaluate the products we offer in the competitive world tourism markets, he said at the Malaysian tourism industrys Out-of-Town Meeting at a hotel here yesterday.
State Tourism Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg delivered a keynote address to some 200 delegates at the meeting, organised by Pacific Asia Travel Association, Malaysia chapter.
Abdullah commended Sarawak for a balanced policy in developing its tourism industry, saying that it was preserving its natural charm and beauty while bringing in revenue.
Johari said the state would build a convention centre here that has a capacity for 5,000 people in its efforts to promote the Land of the Hornbills as a meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition destination.
We have devised a policy to introduce Sarawak as a place for conferences and for participants to enjoy what nature has to offer.
He said Bako National Park, Semenggok Wildlife Centre where orang utans wander about freely, and beaches where people could unwind after meetings were some attractions the state has to offer.
Bario Highlands in northern Sarawak, he added, was being developed into a flower garden destination.