Published on : Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Tourism Malaysia had decided to begin international promotion efforts starting this September. The focus will mostly be on domestic recovery, and the tourism board would try to build up publicity around the country’s efforts to battle the COVID-19 crisis.
Accurate information on the Health Ministry’s efforts to flatten the curve of coronavirus in Malaysia and protective measures undertaken by the hospitality industry would be dispersed through social media. Efforts will also be made for strengthening the nearly two-decade-old ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ branding. The tourism board would also aim towards building a stronger branding within the international community for Malaysia as a preferred destination.
Musa Yusof, Director-General, Tourism Malaysia, said in a press statement that once the virus outbreak in the region is contained, the tourism board will refocus on domestic tourism in order to increase demand for travel trade and related services, including airlines, accommodation, land transportation, retail and F&B.
Tourism Malaysia will work closely with industry partners to organise physical and virtual travel fairs. It will also encourage business event organisers to hold their events domestically. It has also planned to increase the threshold of its matching grant to RM35,000 (US$8,040) per company for participation at international trade fairs. This action might be taken to support the travel trade with international promotions post-pandemic.
Mr Yusof further added that the board also plans to revive joint promotions and tactical campaigns with strategic airline partners as well as outbound travel operators overseas which had been put at the moment. He mentioned that support for tour operators will also be introduced at a later stage for both overseas tour operators selling Malaysia as well as their inbound counterparts.
The Malaysian tourism board also assumes to notice a growth in demand for FIT travel after the pandemic is over. They also expect experiential tourism as tourists become more sensitive to the call for social distancing and may refuse to engage in group travel.
Tourism Malaysia will also organise familiarisation trips for key opinion leaders and media outlets specialising in niche segments exhibiting promising growth, such as sports tourism, agricultural tourism and health tourism.