Malaysia is eyeing a total of 33.1 million tourists and RM134 billion receipts for 2018 on the back of new tourism developments expected for this year.
Speaking to a room full of international media attending the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, anticipated that the roll-out of new attractions such as Desaru Coast Malaysia, a premium integrated destination resort, and the 20th Century Fox World Malaysia theme park, would help boost the appeal of the country as a holiday destination.
Desaru Coast is one of Malaysia’s first integrated premium resorts, with the initial phase scheduled to open from June 2018. It offers a themed water park, known as Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, where visitors will be able to experience the largest wave pool in Southeast Asia, as well as the region’s first water coaster. The fully-integrated beach-front destination will encompass globally renowned hotels and resorts namely The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast and Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas.
Adding to the vast array of leisure and holistic offerings is Desaru Coast Riverside, a retail and lifestyle village located in the heart of Desaru Coast that delivers an all-inclusive leisure experience, including a range of retail, eateries and entertainment outlets.
The Desaru Coast Conference Centre completes the blend of experiences with an equipped multipurpose venue, furnished with meeting and breakout rooms, VIP lounges, a pre-function area, and courtyard to cater to MICE events, corporate functions and entertainment events.
The new attractions complement the country’s existing theme parks and shopping attractions such as Perak’s Movie Animation Park Studios, Lost World of Tambun (the only theme park that operates day and night) and various Premium Outlet malls around the country.
New hotels expected to open in 2018/2019 include Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur with 270 private residences; Movenpick Resort & Spa in Terengganu with 207 guest rooms; W Hotels with 150 rooms; and DoubleTree by Hilton with 300 rooms and an 11,000 sq. ft. function space.
Malaysia’s visibility in Europe is also expected to be enhanced with newly-signed brand partnerships with ITB Berlin for 2019 and as ECTAA Preferred Destination Partner for 2018.
ECTAA is the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association, and they consist of 36 travel agent and tour operator associations from 30 European countries. The partnership is expected to give Malaysia wider global publicity as well as access and opportunities to work closely with industry members in Europe. Malaysia is also the Official Partner Country at ITB 2019.
Malaysia’s branding will be further enhanced in the year 2019 with Malaysia hosting UNWTO’s 5th World Tourism Conference in Kuching, Sarawak. This follows the success of the 4th World Tourism Conference in Penang in 2016 and the 6th Global Summit on Urban Tourism in Kuala Lumpur last year.
Datuk Seri Mirza said that Tourism Malaysia is now focused on increasing accessibility to Malaysia via various airline partnerships for scheduled and charter flights. The latest news is the launching of the winter season flights by Germany’s Condor Air which will see Frankfurt-KL connections beginning November of this year.
Other airline partnerships are with Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Malindo Air, KLM and Singapore Airlines.
All these efforts are a lead up to the scheduled Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2020 campaign which is expected to bring in 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts. The objective is to promote Malaysia as a top-of-mind destination by highlighting the “Travel, Enjoy and Respect” tagline, in line with the National Eco-Tourism Plan 2016-2025.
Source : Travel News Asia