MALACCA: Malaysia has identified four mega-trends to attract tourists, ranging from the lower end to the elite, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the mega-trends were the creation of a global elite, faster pace of life, trading up and down, and the rise of new market leaders.
He said the creation of a global elite referred to the increasing number of high income or high net worth consumers worldwide.
"As such, the importance of offering high-end products and high service levels is growing ever greater," he said when officiating the Melaka Gateway master plan in Pulau Melaka here Friday.
The Melaka Gateway, with an estimated gross development value of RM40bil, comprises 15 project features including the Malaysia Eye, international designer street, sunset beach, Malacca cruise shopping gallery, Malacca international cruise and ferry terminal, and the Melaka Gateway Marina.
Also present at the event were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron and KAJ Development Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Michelle Ong.
Najib said the Melaka Gateway, with its luxury offerings of an international cruise jetty and the largest marina in Asia, was therefore poised to bring in the crowd.
Malaysia, he said, had done well in cargo and container ports and it was now time to focus on cruise ports.
"We are confident that the success of the Malacca international cruise jetty, which is part of the Melaka Gateway project, will not only bring in high yield international cruise visitors but also lead to the opening up of other potential cruise port sites in the East Coast of Peninsular and also Sabah and Sarawak," he added.
Meanwhile, Najib said the faster pace of life referred to the consumer who was interested in having many short holidays as a means to alleviate stress such as holiday experiences, spa and wellness getaways.
The third mega-trend, he said, was in reference to selective spending where consumers might choose to splurge on one item while economising on others.
Hence, it was important that Malaysia was able to offer a wide variety of tourism offerings, which were low, mid to high range, he added.
Najib said the fourth mega-trend focused on penetrating new market leaders such as China, India and Middle East countries.
He noted the tourism industry's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) was on the uptrend.
For 2014, the sector is expected to contribute about 12.5% to the GDP, an improvement over the contribution of nearly 12% the previous year.
"In absolute terms, a 12.5% revenue from tourism would amount to some RM125bil. This is based on our country's GDP in 2013 which is expected to reach over RM1 trillion" said Najib. -Benama