Malaysia has done its research in order to make Visit Malaysia Year 2014 a success. Having successfully hosted this year’s edition of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), held in Kuching is a clear indication of Malaysia’s determination to achieve its objectives with the campaign, which is receiving high-level backing from the Malaysian government.
To show this, the country’s prime minister himself, Najib Razak. attended ATF2014. Prime Minister Razak not graced ATF 2014’s Opening Ceremony, he also delivered a speech which mostly highlighted the potential of ASEAN travel and tourism and importance of collaboration. (To listen to the full audio of his speech, point your browser to:
Tourism Malaysia is the official tourism board for ATF2014’s host country. Its director general, Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, said lessons have been learned and he is optimistic that Malaysia will achieve its target foreign arrivals by the end of this year.
VMY2014 is being made possible after Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Program identified tourism as one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas to drive the nation’s economic growth. Since then, a number of tourism development projects have been put in place, with VMY2014 being one of them.
VMY2014, according to the Tourism Malaysia director general, was planned to be executed to have long-term impacts. Specifically, VMY2014 is Malaysia’s launching pad for an even bigger goal—to welcome 36 million tourists and generate US$60 billion tourism receipts by 2020.
The Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign is not the first time Malaysia designated a banner year for tourism. In 1999, the Southeast Asian country launched Visit Malaysia 1990, but Taiyab said it did not achieve its goal because of the political conflict that ultimately led to the US government’s Operation launching Desert Storm.
I asked the director general whether Malaysia has in place a contingency plan should a case of the “unexpected” happen (such as Operation Desert Storm in 1990) to make sure that VMY2014 is more successful this time around. Listen to the audio below to find out what he said.