Aggressive Malaysia

By | Category: Travel destinations

Last year, Malaysia received a total of 25.8 million international tourists. Not satisfied it has set itself a very aggressive target of reaching 30 million visitors by 2020 which is less than two years away. Finding another 4.2 million tourists may be a tall order for the country and its promotion arm, Visit Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia if often part of a twin-centre holiday

This is the target outlined by the country’s minister for tourism, Mohammadin bin Ketapi, recently and just prior to the big international travel show in Berlin next week.

Tourism is very important to the country employing some 3.4 million people  and, in 2017, contributing 14.9% to the economy.

But what is there for visitors?

Beaches and islands are in abundance in Malaysia and that is a big attraction with one famous name, Langkawi, often listed as one of the top islands to visit in the world. Beaches that often get mentioned include Sipadan Island, Sabah; Pangkor Island, Perak; Batu Feringhi Beach, Penang and Perhentian Island.

Malaysia’s tropical rainforests, said to be over 130 million years old, are also claimed to be a visitor draw and, the minister says, are a unique feature of Malaysia. Some of the renowned rainforests in Malaysia include Taman Negara Pahang, Endau-Rompin, Gunung Mulu National Park, Kuala Selangor Nature Park, and Kinabalu Park.

A recent feature of tourist interest has been the Malaysia Homestay Programme which lets visitors join local village-folk to take part in offering authentic homestay experiences. Statistics show, said the minister, that in 2018, a total of 372,475 tourists (local and foreign) participated in the homestay programme across the nation. Within this period, a total number of 218 villages with 4,070 homes have taken part in the programme. These villages are spread throughout the nation, including popular tourist destinations like Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Melaka, Johor, Penang, Langkawi, and many more.

But will all this plus city breaks in the capital, Kuala Lumpur and other cities plus that fast-growing tourism offering – medical tourism – be enough to find the extra millions the minister wants?

Ask him again in 2021.

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