Arabic English

Malaysia tourism

Tourism industry in Malaysia started from the early 1970s and has become the second highest foreign exchange earner for the country after the manufacturing sector (NTP2004-2010 Main Report, 2004. pg 9). The sector is predicted to grow at the rate of 6.9% per year and contribute almost RM30 billion to the nations economy (Bernama News, 19Mac, 2004). In the early growth of the industry, tourism was more focussed at beachresorts as a destination for relaxation. It was in the 1990s that it extended to include other attractions like shopping, events, theme park and nature-based. The main markets for Malaysia tourism are the neighbouring ASEAN countries especially Singapore, Thailand ,Brunei and Indonesia. While others include Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, China,Taiwan, India, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States of America. The Malaysian tourism industry had undergone multiple challenges before assuming its position in the world tourism destination map, abreast of the other popular destinationsworldwide. The unstable world politics, SARS and challenge posed by the other ASEANcountries competing to draw tourists had initiated Malaysia to set its own strategy indiversifying the tourist attractions. Various studies were undertaken to identify the tourism demand characteristics andinternational trend apart from define the potential products to be promoted. As such,Malaysia had increased the tourism promotions, arranged various programmesandevents, as well as diversified and upgraded the tourism-related facilities. ³Malaysia Truly Asia´ is the tagline which is internationally recognized as a uniquelyMalaysian brand to promote tourism in Malaysia. The branding first established 1999 hadalso played a major role as the marketing strategy to highlight the Malaysia uniquecharacteristics. The uniqueness portrayed through ³Malaysia Truly Asia´ is the diversityof tourism products offered which comprise almost all of the attractions that exist in theother Asian countries. Greater emphasis was placed on attracting tourists from the short-haul and regional markets of ASEAN, China, India, Japan and West Asia