Jan 12, 2015

Dato' Seri Nazri YBM sp - TM ODs Meeting - Session with YBM

SPEECH BY
YB DATO' SERI MOHAMED NAZRI TAN SRI ABDUL AZIZ
MINISTER OF TOURISM AND CULTURE, MALAYSIA

IN CONJUNCTION WITH
TOURISM MALAYSIA OVERSEAS DIRECTORS MEETING

2014 SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR
12 JAN 2015, MONDAY, 11:30 AM

Bismillahirahmanirahim

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Salam Sejahtera, Salam 1 Malaysia, and a very Good Morning to:

Y.BHG. DATUK DR. ONG HONG PENG
Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture

Y.BHG. TAN SRI DATO' SRI DR. NG YEN YEN
Chairman of Tourism Malaysia

Y.B. DATO' SRI MAZNAH MAZLAN
Deputy Chairman of Tourism Malaysia

Y.BHG. DATO' MIRZA MOHAMMAD TAIYAB
Director General of Tourism Malaysia

Y.BHG. DATO' HAJI AZIZAN NOORDIN
Deputy Director General (Promotion), Tourism Malaysia

Y.BRS. MADAM CHONG YOKE HAR
Deputy Director General (Planning), Tourism Malaysia

Tourism Malaysia Board of Directors,

Director Generals and Heads of All Agencies under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

1. First of all, welcome home to all Overseas Directors, Marketing Managers from overseas and State Directors. I would also like to congratulate all the newly-appointed advertising agencies for securing the bid to handle Tourism Malaysia's account for 2015 to 2017.

2. The Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 campaign has just ended and now we are all geared up for another milestone event ? the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015.

3. I would like to thank each and every one of you for all your efforts and hard work in ensuring the success of VMY 2014 and in making our tourism industry continue to prosper.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

4. It has already been 18 months since I helmed the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. I have been travelling to many countries for sales missions to promote VMY 2014. I had the pleasure of assessing your performance while I visited the markets recently. Also during the sales mission, I have met with many local tourism trade players and media in various markets. Feedback from them has been positive. Congratulations. However there are also areas to which we need to pay more attention and improve.

5. During my recent visit to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) office in Spain where we had the opportunity to meet the Secretary General of UNWTO Dr. Taleb Rifai and his entire Board, I am convinced that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, in particular Tourism Malaysia, have done an excellent job in promoting the country's tourism.

6. In that meeting, I was informed that Malaysia ranks high as a successful tourism country. They have acknowledged three things, with regards to our tourism promotions. First, our "Malaysia Truly Asia" slogan, campaign and branding, has been extremely effective and successful in making the country stand out in the international arena.

7. Second, they praised our Homestay Experience Programme, which is another highly successful programme in the country. In fact, as you all know, it has even garnered the first prize of UNWTO Ulysses Award in 2012 for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance.

8. Finally, they acknowledged our efforts in making Malaysia a shopping haven. After all, we have been crowned the fourth best shopping city in the world for two consecutive years by CNN, while Kuala Lumpur has been ranked the second best shopping destination in Asia Pacific in a Globe Shopper Index survey.

9. In addition, we were also acknowledged for our forthcoming assistance in sharing our tourism data and statistics.

10. Similarly, the feedback from other associations namely PATA, JATA, ASEANTA, and other regional bodies have also been encouraging.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

11. Malaysia's tourism industry is indeed on the right track as proven by the various international recognitions and accolades given to the nation in recent years by various international organisations. It does speak volumes for Malaysia's thriving tourism industry and business-friendly environment.

12. Last year, Malaysia was voted as the Best Family Destination at the Lonely Planet Travel Awards 2014. Recently, Malaysia has been selected as the world's fourth top retirement haven for 2015 and first for Asia, based on the Annual Global Retirement Index.

13. Moving forward, we will be embarking on another milestone event this year, which is the Malaysia Year of Festivals, or MyFEST 2015.

14. It is designed to give tourists an amazing holiday experience with an emphasis on the cultural aspect of the many different festivals celebrated by Malaysia's multi-cultural society.

15. We are confident that MyFEST 2015 will spur the tourism industry to greater heights, subsequently benefitting all sectors within the tourism industry and stimulating the country's economic growth. This year, we aim to have 29.4 million tourist arrivals and RM89 billion in tourist receipts. For the domestic tourism sector, our target is to have a five percent growth this year.

16. We must continue to produce attractive and new packages. I am confident that this is achievable as you are tourism professionals and experts in destinations marketing. It goes without saying that we must continue working with our partners in the travel trade and media including social media community to promote Malaysia objectively and accurately. Similarly, we must also strengthen our PR activities and promotional tools.

17. For MyFEST 2015, I am confident that all machineries are already in place including the preparation to celebrate the event. This is a national agenda and all Malaysians are expected to play an important role. Therefore, we have to gear up and prepare to receive more tourists and be a good host once again.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

18. The Tourism NKEA will continue to focus on high-yield tourism, driving economic and employment growth for the nation. Targeting leisure and business tourism, the NKEA will also focus on growing tourist arrivals and receipts to stimulate the industry's contribution to the nation's economy.

19. For 2015 to 2017 and beyond, overseas offices are encouraged to render support to Malaysia Students Associations overseas in carrying out their activities for tourism promotions. We have launched the Malaysia Students Tourism Ambassadors Programme, which is designed to leverage on Malaysian students going and studying abroad as well as foreign students studying in Malaysia to increase awareness of Malaysia as a top tourist destination.

20.I also strongly suggest overseas offices to work closely with all the other agencies under the Ministry, as well as the Malaysian Ambassadors in your respective countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

21. In conclusion, let us all work together for the success of the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 and the continued success of Malaysia as the top tourist destination in the world.

Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to urge all Malaysians including those who live abroad to promote MyFEST 2015 and be a good host to our guests.

On that note, I wish you every success and a fruitful and engaging session during this Tourism Malaysia Overseas Directors Meeting.

Thank you and Assalammualaikum warahmatullahiwabarakatu

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