KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia wants to embrace the digital technology trend to transform the nation's tourism industry, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said the country is embarking on a comprehensive digitalisation journey to transform Malaysia's tourism industry towards smart tourism initiatives.
He added that the government believes that it will be able to provide the necessary tools for the tourism industry to be internationally connected, perform rigorous data analytics of tourism futures and shorten the supply chain if it embraces digitalisation.
Dr Mahathir then said that a new investment climate is pivotal for a conducive environment to enable technology-cantered tourism industry to charge forward.
"Investment in hard and soft infrastructures needs to be balanced. National policies need to allow for investment incentives in more intangible products such as data acquisition, content creation and an online platform presence," he said in his speech at the World Tourism Conference on Monday (Aug 26).
Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia realises this and will designate strategic Special Tourism Investment Zones throughout the country under the new National Tourism Policy.
He added that specific incentives are being formulated to attract infrastructure and new technology-based investments in the tourism sector.
"Malaysia realises that technology advancement in tourism is about to break boundaries and open up infinite opportunities for growth globally," said Dr Mahathir.
He said that the World Economic Forum's Digital Transformation Initiatives showed that digitalisation in tourism is expected to contribute up to US$305bil of value through increased profitability by 2025.
Dr Mahathir added that with the arrival of tourists forecasted to reach 1.8 billion in 2030, Malaysia can foresee a wider base of services being offered beyond the conventional tourism-focused industry.
He said that this includes medical, filming, adventure sports, content development, religious-activities, gaming as well as green technology.
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