Tourism Malaysia to promote our many idyllic beaches

PETALING JAYA: With beach tourism remaining a top choice, Tourism Malaysia is working to promote the country’s idyllic beaches to attract more tourists from around the globe, especially China and India, with the 30-day visa-free entry for both countries that started on Dec 1.

Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar said beach tourism is still one of the main sectors in terms of number of tourists. According to the Domestic Tourism Survey 2022 by the Statistics Department, beach tourism is still popular in Malaysia and constitutes the top five destinations most visited by domestic visitors in almost every state in Malaysia, he said.

Ammar also noted that based on the latest Domestic Tourism Survey 2022 released on June 26 this year, the occupancy rate in coastal areas saw an increase for the first quarter of 2023.

“There is a strong preference for sun and beach destinations, and the return of family travel followed by couples travel besides urban tourism being on the rise. Beach tourism is also part of nature tourism.

“Despite the diversification of the tourism market and the growing importance of niche tourism, beach tourism is still one of the dominant segments in terms of number of tourists.

“Hence, Tourism Malaysia continues to promote beach tourism as part of its marketing efforts online and offline to lure more tourists from around the globe to choose Malaysia as a preferred travel destination.

As of September 2023, Malaysia recorded 14,467,037 foreign tourist arrivals with RM49bil in tourism receipts, said Ammar.

“We have seen a total of 1,037,600 Chinese travellers, as of September 2023, arriving. It’s a tremendous increase compared to 108,067 in the same period in 2022. Indian tourists recorded 472,858 arrivals from January to September 2023 compared to 187,037 in the same period in 2022,” said Ammar.

He said that prior to the visa-free travel initiative, starting Oct 15, the Malaysian government had agreed to issue Visa On Arrival (VOA) for Chinese and Indian tourists boarding chartered direct flights to Malaysia via registered travel agencies under the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

Ammar said with airlines such as AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines unveiling plans to increase capacity to China and India as well as open additional routes to these countries, Tourism Malaysia would continue to ramp up its marketing efforts with travel trade partners in their respective markets through its overseas offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in China as well as in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in India.

“As a marketing agency under the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, Tourism Malaysia has also recently launched a promotional video to boost international and domestic tourism,” he said.

Titled “Embracing Malaysia”, Ammar said this musical pop composition incorporated electronic dance music (EDM) and hip-hop beats featuring local talents, including vocalists Faye An, Arabella, Eugene Wen and Chin Zi while the lyrics were written by Aric Ho and composed by Ariel Puah. He also said that Tourism Malaysia would continue to collaborate with industry partners by strengthening public-private partnerships in welcoming more tourists.

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