Yen Yen: New package to lure Chinese tourists


KUALA LUMPUR – After taking over as the new tourism minister, Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen has pledged to create a new travel package aimed at luring more Chinese tourists to Malaysia.

“There are plenty of people with high consumption power in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. They have a strong affinity for the West, but we must try to lure them to Malaysia.”

She said during an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daly that due to the prosperous economic development there, China has remained a star performer even in the midst of global financial crisis. And therefore, the Chinese tourist market has become much sought after.

She said she would visit China soon to meet travel operators there before mapping out a new travel package for the Chinese tourists.

“I need to listen to Chinese travel operators in order to better understand how they view the Malaysian tourist industry, what they expect from us, as well as how we can enhance our own tourist industry.”

She said she had already discussed job allocation with her deputy Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib. She will be in charge of East Asia, including China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and the Chinese market in Indonesia; both of them will be jointly responsible for exploring the Indian market, while Sulaiman will be tasked with Middle East as well as developed markets such as the United States and Canada.

Yen Yen said she would map out a future development blueprint or roadmap for the tourism ministry within the next two weeks with a purpose to chart a new direction for the country’s tourist industry.

She said Tourism Malaysia has offices in many countries and the ministry would conduct thorough evaluation of the efficiency in these offices.

She proposed to set up a classification system for the staff in these offices, such as “A” for the most excellent, followed by B, C and D.

“This will allow us to clearly identify where our weaknesses are and adopt the essential remedial actions. We may also outsource some of the services if necessary.

“We must be resolved in our action, and must never give ourselves excuses again.”

She admitted that she is a very strict superior, and this is to ensure that her subordinates carry out their work seriously, because tourist industry is very important for the country and is one of the largest revenue sources.