Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun is holding Federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz to his word of a fair proportionate share of the Tourism Tax that became effective Sept. 1.
“I am always a very optimistic person,” he said, adding that the State Government will issue an official statement on the matter being finalised.
Sarawak had indicated that it would talk to the Prime Minister direct, being the Minister of Finance, on the issue.
Both Sabah and Sarawak are expecting better share of the Tourism Tax – higher than 10 per cent or RM1 per RM10 gained by the Federal Government, which was the latest offer by Nazri, who in the past mentioned one third share portion each to Sabah and Sarawak.
Masidi revealed that slashing RM1million for marketing and promotion of Sabah tourist attractions last year and forcing his staff to harness the power of social media for publicity and advertising delivered through personal devices like smart phones turned out to be the most successful year with the highest number of tourists arrivals for Sabah.
He said 59.6 per cent of China tourists are FIT travellers using the Internet to book their travel requirements and find their way around, and the best way to reach this market segment is through Internet technologies.
Masidi officiated at the 11th Global Congress and Conferment Ceremony of the Royal Institution, themed “Global leadership: Strategic Communication Management”, Tuesday, and was conferred citation honours recognition from the institution for his many achievements.
“Strategic communication management could be defined as the systematic planning and realisation of information flow, communication, media development and image care in a long term horizon.”
In his speech to the Congress audience from Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, Masidi highlighted the importance of strategic communication management in five instances that had affected Sabah negatively before global perceptions were changed and overcome.
First is the Kampung Tanduo intrusion case by armed militants from Southern Philippines “to establish a claim on their territorial rights, leading to a first armed conflict in Sabah that lasted nearly a month, affecting the tourism industry.”
“People’s opinions are easily to sway by perceptions. I became the face of Sabah before world media.
It’s important that what we say deliver positive views to the world about reality in Sabah with honesty.”
This was followed by the still missing to date, MH370 MAS flight, the Kinabalu earthquake, kidnapping of tourists on the East Coast and issuance of travel advisories by US, UK and Australia on Sabah, and created negative perceptions about Sabah which his ministry overcame with effective strategic communication management.
“Strategic communication management conveys deliberate messages through the most suitable media and medium designated, to target distinct market-audience at the appropriate time, to contribute and to achieve the desired long-term effects and results.
“We engage with diplomats in Kuala Lumpur and brought some of them to visit the East Coast and Esscom.”
Advocating embracing the digital age apps and devices, Masidi said the tourism industry must increasingly rely on technology and digitization, as so should every one.
Tourism is one of the only industries in the world where the ‘goods’ and ‘services’ are consumed at the site of production benefiting the local people and communities.
He said the Internet brought a new era of communication to reach the tourist market and this shows the Internet has enabled “Global Leadership in Strategic Communications Management.” – David Thien
Source : Daily Express