Malaysia becoming leading business tourism destination

Ian Barrow, general manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur talks about Malaysia being a leading business tourism destination.

Ian Barrow, general manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur talks about Malaysia being a leading business tourism destination.

He says, “I think that Malaysia is an ideal location; from a business perspective, it is connected very well and it is very easy to get in. I think that there is quite a lot of support for business here; the government is very proactive to help businesses coming in.

For us in the hotel sector, where we see corporate travellers coming in, we can see that there is growth in different sectors; obviously oil and gas is a very important sector and there is growth in the banking sector. Also, from a business meeting perspective, this is also a very good location. Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur offer a lot of opportunities for people who come here to meet and to do business. It is very easy and accessible, language is obviously a big factor and this is a safe environment, on top of which this is a very beautiful environment.”

“There are different teams within the government that are very focused on bringing events into Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur. We have also seen Malaysia ranked in the top 5 of convention cities in Asia Pacific. That is because of the infrastructure that is here, the connectivity, the services, etc. It is an ideal location. On top of that you have Malaysia’s culture and the beautiful landscape so from a MICE perspective it is an ideal location; you can do business and you have the ability to afterwards have some breaks to go and see some stunning sights throughout Malaysia and enjoy the food which we are very famous for. It really is an ideal place to do business and for MICE specifically. I think this is reflected in all of the rankings where we continue to be in the top 5, particularly in terms of being the most competitive city for conventions,” he adds.

Malaysia’s Key Tourism Statistics

One of the fastest growing sectors contributing RM65.44 billion in tourist receipts with tourist arrivals registering at 25.72 million in 2013.

The ASEAN market remains the largest contributor with 19.1 million arrivals, representing a 74.3 per cent share of the overall tourist arrivals to Malaysia. The medium-haul market was the second largest market with 4.9 million arrivals followed by the long-haul market with 1.7 million arrivals.

Tourism industry is ranked as the 6th largest contributor to the Malaysian economy in 2013 moving up one spot compared to 2012. It contributed RM51.5 billion to GNI in 2013 compared to RM47.2 billion in 2012.

Based on UNWTO World Tourism Barometer (Volume 11, April 2013), In 2012 Malaysia is ranked as the 10th most-visited countries, higher than Thailand and Indonesia. However, in term of international tourism receipts, Thailand is ahead of us.

Tourism was identified as one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and this has driven Malaysia’s economic growth with various missions being planned and implemented in line with the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan towards achieving the targeted 36 million tourists and RM168bil in receipts by 2020.

Collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, other Government agencies and the private sector have been enhanced to help secure Malaysia’s position as a leading tourist destination. Twelve Entry Point Projects were introduced in this NKEA to help meet the country’s targets by 2020. Amongst others:

In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014 and to provide adequate international standard accommodation especially to cater for luxury and high spending tourists as well as to increase the facilities for MICE activities, the tax incentive for 4 and 5 star hotels has been extended till 2016 in budget 2014. Efforts will continue to focus on bringing more 4-star and 5-star hotels to be developed in Malaysia.

Visit Malaysia Year 2014 was launched by YAB Prime Minister in January 2013. Visit Malaysia Year 2014 is targeting to receive 28.8 million in foreign tourist arrivals and RM76 billion in tourism receipts.

source: MIDA

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