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Published on : Friday, October 21, 2016
The fourth edition of the World Tourism Conference (WTC) was jointly organized between the UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) in Malaysia, the second most visited destination in South East Asia. The conference had the theme, “Tourism Delights: Delivering the Unexpected,” and focused on strategies to increase visitor experiences. Topics debated in the conference included ‘Tourism a Sunrise Industry?’ and ‘Tourism Experiences: Breaking New Grounds’ with tourism trends beyond 2030 and how to reinvent the sector focusing on customer experience.
Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary-General said at the inauguration of the conference that technology and travel go hand in hand and is creating revolutions in how one travels. Mingling of technology and travel has given rise to travelers who are tech-savvy, informed, connected with valuable, rich and authentic travel experiences, as well as one who’s responsible enough to contribute to a better world. Tourism involves creativity and innovation and Malaysia has enhanced its tourism potential with unique touristic offers such as homestays, where travelers get the opportunity of soaking in the traditional village lifestyle and interact with local hosts. Other initiatives such as Villagestay, Visit MyFelda and Visit MyLonghouse are also there. The conference also had sessions where unlimited opportunities that tourism brings to communities, sustainable practices, rural and youth tourism were highlighted. Malaysia has recently presented the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which prioritizes tourism for economic prosperity along with emphasis on ecotourism, family-friendly destinations, business tourism and events, entertainment and sports and hopes to reach 36 million tourists by 2020.