Dato' Seri Maznah Deputy Chairman MIM speech
YB SENATOR DATO’ SERI MAZNAH MAZLAN
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, TOURISM MALAYSIA
IN CONJUNCTION WITH
MAKE IT MALAYSIA 2015 GALA DINNER
12 MARCH 2015, THURSDAY, 6:30 PM
FIRST WORLD HOTEL BALLROOM
Mr Paul Baker, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Resorts World Genting,
Members of the Malaysian Travel Industry,
Participants from China,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Firstly, allow me to extend a very warm welcome to all the Chinese participants of this wonderful Make It Malaysia program. It is a great honor to welcome you to Malaysia, and on behalf of Tourism Malaysia, thank you for your attendance here today.
2. I would also like to thank the members of the Malaysian travel industry, such as the Malaysia Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) for their contribution to this project, all of the involved airlines: Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Airasia X, and also Xiamen Airlines, for coming in as partners of this project, Club Med and Sari Pacifica Hotels, and our co-partner, Resorts World Genting, for their unwavering support, and also to the state tourism authorities and the hardworking staff of the tourism departments of Johor, Perak, Selangor, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak for their hard work. You have all been crucial to the success of this programme.
3. This evening is not an evening for long speeches, but allow me to briefly say that Tourism Malaysia is extremely pleased that you have accepted our invitation to experience for yourself Malaysia’s delightful tourist attractions. Malaysia is a beautiful country, and I am confident that during your stay here, all of you have found a unique and memorable experience which you can share with your clients, readers, friends and family back home.
4. The “Make It Malaysia” program is a unique program that is designed to expose you to Malaysia’s best tourist destinations, as well as connect you with Malaysia’s tourism players who deal primarily with the Chinese market. We hope that with this programme, you are able to help promote Malaysia more effectively, as well as coordinate with local tour operators and product owners to develop new products and tour packages to sell to your respective markets.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
5. The Government of Malaysia has prioritized the tourism industry as one of the key pillars of the national economy. Our figures for last year showed a total of 27.4 million tourist arrivals, an increase from the 25.7 million we received in 2013.
6. However, due to the series of unfortunate air disasters last year, the numbers from China have decreased to 1.61 million, which is a drop of around 10%.
7. Nevertheless, 2015 has been designated the Year of Festivals (MyFest), and the Government of Malaysia has agreed to exempt visa fees for Chinese tourists from 15 February until 31 December 2015 in order to reclaim the Chinese market. Coupled with 50 cultural events that will be happening throughout the year in conjunction with MyFest 2015, we hope that these incentives will help increase tourist arrivals from China.
8. On this note, we would need your help in recovering the Chinese market, and making Malaysia the preferred tourist destination for Chinese tourists once again. Malaysia has always had close ties with China, and with your help, and the cooperation of all industry players from both countries, we can revitalise the tourism industry of both our great nations.
9. In conclusion, I would like to once again, thank all of you for your presence here this evening, and I hope that all of you have had a very productive stay here.