Saidi Bundan sp - Welcome Dinner ICNTS Conference, Sabah
WELCOME SPEECH BY
MR. SAIDI BUNDAN
DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION,
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON NATURAL RESOURCES,
TOURISM AND SERVICES MANAGEMENT 2015
14 APRIL 2015, TUESDAY
RAFFLESIA BALLROOM 2, PROMENADE HOTEL,
KOTA KINABALU, SABAH
Y.BHG. DATO’ SERI TENGKU DR. ZAINAL ADLIN TENGKU MAHAMOOD
Board of Director Tourism Malaysia & Chairman of Sabah Parks
PROF. DATO’ DR. MOHD. FAUZI HAJI RAMLAN
Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia
Distinguished speakers and participants of ICNTS 2015,
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen.
1. Good evening. First of all, I would like to bid all of you a very warm welcome to this special dinner. To all the international speakers and participants of ICNTS, welcome or Selamat Datang to Malaysia and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
2. My heartiest congratulations to the organisers for making this event possible. Tourism Malaysia is pleased to lend our support to conference like this as it involves not only experts, researchers and academics, but also stakeholders and captains of the industry, who are here to discuss the latest issues and developments, mega trends and best practices to maximise the potential of tourism.
Ladies and gentlemen,
3. Tourism is a major force in the economy of the world, an activity of global importance and significance demonstrating sustained growth. It has been remarkable in its resistance to adverse economic and political conditions.
4. Over the past six decades, tourism has experienced continued expansion and diversification to become one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Many new destinations have emerged alongside the traditional ones of Europe and North America.
5. UNWTO reported that international tourists reached 1,138 million last year, signifying an increase of 4.7 percent over the previous year. International tourism is forecasted to grow by 3 to 4 percent this year, further contributing to the global economic recovery.
6. Despite various challenges last year, Malaysia achieved a growth of 6.7 percent in its tourist arrivals and a 10 percent increase in receipts.
7. The promotion of the year 2014 as Visit Malaysia Year and the
investments made in publicity and promotions had certainly
paid off. Despite the series of incidents last year, which had
negative impact on travel and tourism, the increase of
promotion of Malaysia, along with the support and assistance
of industry players, ensured the continued growth of the
country’s arrivals and receipts.
8. Tourism will continue to become an essential component of the overall economic growth of many countries. Its significance has led to a wide range of research and studies of the industry.
9. Therefore, through conference like this, we get to discuss and exchange ideas, identify trends, understand current demands and share our collective experiences so that we can implement suitable strategies, creative programmes, and innovative plans to enhance the industry.
Ladies and gentlemen,
10. Following our celebration of the successful Visit Malaysia Year 2014, we are embarking on another major tourism campaign this year – the Malaysia Year of Festivals or MyFEST.
11. 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 multicultural society. Therefore, the country will be in ‘Endless Celebrations’ this year, which is also the theme of this milestone event.
12. If this is your first trip to Malaysia, I strongly encourage you to return after this conference to spend a long holiday here with your family and friends. There are so much more to explore and experience in different parts of the country.
13. Whatever your interest, I can assure you that we have it all.
Our attractions range from rich and colourful multi-cultural
heritage to marvellous natural wonders, as well as luxury
experiences like spa and wellness, golfing, and duty-free
14. The various international recognitions and accolades that the country received in recent years also speak volumes for its thriving tourism industry. We’ve been crowned as Asia’s Best Golf Destination, Best Family Destination, and the fourth Best Shopping City in the World.
15. We were also in the Top 10 of Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014, and recently, we have been listed as the world’s fourth top retirement haven for 2015.
16. Ladies and gentlemen, with that, I wish you all a fruitful conference and an enjoyable and memorable stay in Sabah.