Tourism sector to maintain position as 3rd largest contributor to economy

KUALA LUMPUR: Aggressive measures taken to boost Malaysia’s tourism and hospitality industry, which include hotels, foods, restaurants, chefs, as well as food services equipment and suppliers doing their part, will help maintain the industry as the third largest contributor to Malaysia’s economy.

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, said that combined efforts by the various stakeholders to push the industry to new heights as evidenced by the ongoing and highly successful and international Food and Hotel Malaysia 2017 (FHM 2017) would help the tourism industry’s receipts increase this year.

She cited how such combined efforts went a long way towards enabling the tourism industry to contribute RM73.3. billion to the nation’s coffers last year.

According to data from Tourism Malaysia, the target for tourist arrivals this year was 31.8 million while tourist receipts were expected to reach RM118 billion.

“Events such as FHM have both a direct and indirect positive impact on Malaysia’s tourism and hospitality industry, positioning the country as an industry leader that the world looks up to,” she said in her speech when officiating FHM 2017 here today.

She said the tourism and hospitality industry was recognised as one of the National Key Economic Areas in the government’s vision to help make Malaysia a high-income nation by 2020.

By 2020, Malaysia is targeted to draw some 36 million tourists with tourism receipts projected at RM168 billion.

Mas Ermieyati also lauded the FHM series of exhibitions which has grown from its humble beginnings to emerge to become the global mecca it is now for international hospitality and the food & beverage fraternity.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Datuk Azzat Kamaludin, Director of UBM MES, the company which is organising FHM, Cheah Swee Hee, President of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, K.K. Yau, President of the Professional Culinaire Association and Hisham Tan, President of the Malaysian Food & Beverage Executives Association.

This year, some 1,200 participating companies from 50 countries are participating in FHM 2017 which is expected to draw a staggering 23,000 trade visitors who would be in for a tantalising treat of sights, sounds, aromas and tastes to tease the senses as well as tuna slicing and celebrity chefs’ demonstration.

Among foreign companies participating include those from Algeria, Belgium, China (Fujian Province), Japan, South Korea, Libya, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States. – Bernama

Source : New Straits Times

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