Keynote Address by H.E. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin , Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Salam Sejahtera, Salam 1Malaysia and very good morning.

 

YAB Datuk Seri Ir. Idris Hj. Haron

Chief Minister of Melaka

 

YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz

Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia

 

H.E. Mr. Zoltan Somogyi

Executive Director of UN World Tourism Organisation

 

Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Tourism

Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners

Distinguished Guests and Speakers

Ladies and Gentlemen

1) Alhamdulillah bersyukur kita ke hadrat Allah S.W.T kerana dengan limpah dan rahmatNya, diizinkan kita berhimpun di sini untuk bersama-sama hadir pada majlis perasmian World Tourism Conference 2013. Terima kasih juga saya ucapkan kepada Kementerian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan Malaysia kerana mengundang saya untuk hadir merasmikan World Tourism Conference 2013 di Negeri Melaka ini.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

2) First and foremost, I would like to thank the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), for its continuous confidence and support to Malaysia to host this premier event, the World Tourism Conference 2013 for the third time.

3) I am very delighted to be here in Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to officiate the opening of the World Tourism Conference 2013. I wish to commend the State Government of Melaka and Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia for co-hosting this prestigious Conference in collaboration with the UNWTO. I also wish to extend a very warm welcome to all participants and distinguished guests to this Conference. To all our foreign delegates, Selamat Datang, Welcome to Malaysia.

4) The outlook for tourism is certainly very bright. My sense of optimism is based mainly on the key trend of a growing world population from 7.1 billion people in 2012 to approximately 8.3 billion people in 2030 with rising income and better quality of life. Consequently, there will be a greater wealth effect that will result in an increasingly higher demand for travel worldwide.

5) This positive scenario is supported by the UNWTOs study, "Tourism Towards 2030 Global Overview", which projected an average annual growth of international tourist arrivals of 3.3% for the period 2010 to 2030. At the forecasted rate of growth, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase from 940 million in 2010 to 1.8 billion in 2030. This represents an expansion in market size of 900 million international tourists.

6) It is noteworthy that the Asia Pacific Region will be the fastest growing market, in terms of inbound and outbound tourism.

Arrivals in the Region are projected to increase by 330 million in two decades, from 204 million in 2010 to 535 million tourist arrivals in 2030. The rapidly expanding market of tourist arrivals worldwide clearly demonstrates that all nations stand to benefit from tourism.

7) The performance of the tourism industry worldwide remains promising. In this regard, international tourist arrivals grew at a faster rate during the 1st half of 2013 at 5% compared to the projected growth rate of 3 to 4% for 2013. This shows that the tourism industry has exceeded expectations and will continue to be robust and strong.

8) Given the tremendous potential of tourism, the question before us at this Conference, therefore, is "How do we leverage on the game changers and pace setters to tap the growing global demand for travel and to maximise the potential of tourism?"

9) In the case of Malaysia, one pivotal game changer is the role of our Government to target and advance tourism as a priority sector. This can be viewed as two distinct phases. The first phase can be traced to the period 1998 to 2010, whereby tourism was identified as a key sector to address the economic downturn and generate new sources of growth.

10) As part of the efforts to revitalize the economy during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, the Government assumed a crucial role to boost the tourism industry. Towards this end, the Government provided the necessary policy and institutional framework as well as enabling environment and facilitation for tourists. The implementation of tourism programs and projects were given priority.

11) Besides these supply-side factors, the Government also allocated substantial funding for tourism marketing and promotion. This strategic initiative, which constituted the demand-side of the tourism equation, resulted in the successful launching of the tourism brand, "Malaysia Truly Asia in 1999".

12) In retrospect, the "Malaysia Truly Asia" campaign can be viewed as a pace setter as Malaysia took the lead by investing millions of Ringgit in marketing and promotion of tourism globally. This branding and marketing campaign raised the profile of Malaysia as a tourist destination and showcased our unique selling points. Another key element is the major role of the Government to nurture a strong private sector to raise investment and product development in tourism.

13) The comprehensive and integrated efforts by the Government and the private sector produced significant outcomes. In 1998, Malaysia registered 5.5 million tourist arrivals. Within a period of 12 years, tourist arrivals increased by more than 4 times to reach a record high of 24.6 million arrivals, yielding US$ 1 billion every 3 weeks in 2010.

14) The second phase of the vital role of the Government as a game changer and pace setter can be marked by the launching of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) in September 2010. The goal of ETP is to elevate Malaysia to developed-nation status by 2020, targeting Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of US$15,000. Towards this end, tourism was identified as one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). In this regard, the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP) under the ETP was implemented in 2011 to achieve the targets of 36 million.

 

international tourist arrivals and RM168 billion (US$ 51.8 billion) receipts by 2020.

15) The MTTP is expected to transform the tourism landscape to be more vibrant and competitive, with tourist arrivals increasing by 1.5 times and tourist expenditure expanding by 3 times by 2020. Business opportunities in areas such as hotels; food and beverage outlets; transportation; as well as tour operators and travel agencies were identified. These initiatives are projected to generate US$ 20.7 billion (RM 67 billion) in terms of GNI and create 500,000 additional job opportunities by 2020.

16) In this context, Entry Points Projects (EPPs) that is EPP1: Positioning Malaysia as a Duty-Free Shopping Destination was implemented with the Budget announcement of abolishment of import duty on approximately 300 items with immediate effect from 15 October 2010.

17) Another EPP related to affordable luxury is EPP2: Designating Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur City Centre (BB-KLCC) Area as a vibrant Shopping Precinct. In addition, EPP3: Establishing Premium Outlets in Malaysia witnessed the establishment of the first premium outlet in Johor to attract more tourists and increase tourist expenditure.

18) The initiatives implemented under affordable luxury have resulted in positive outcomes. In this regard, Kuala Lumpur was placed fourth among the top 10 best shopping cities in the world after New York, Tokyo and London by CNN Travel survey in 2012. In addition, tourist expenditure on shopping expanded from US$ 5.0 billion (RM16.2 billion) in 2010 (before the launch of MTTP) to US$ 5.7 billion (RM 18.6 billion) in 2012. Correspondingly, the share of shopping expenditure to total tourist expenditure increased from 28.8% in 2010 to 30.7% in 2012.

19) The success of the tourism industry in Malaysia also hinges on innovation and creativity in developing new products and services. Another game changer I wish to point out is the development of creative and innovative tourism products and services. Some examples include the International Shoe Festival, 1Malaysia International Night Floral Boat Parade (Magic of the Night), 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Festival (1MCAT), Fabulous Food 1Malaysia, Malaysia Homestay Experience and Voluntourism or Volunteer Tourism. These innovative programmes and events provided value innovation offerings to tourists by incorporating the elements of the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) such as low cost, high impact and rapid implementation.

20) I also wish to highlight "Visit Malaysia Year (VMY)" as a game changer. VMY is not just about organizing more events and intensifying marketing and promotion. More importantly it is getting the nation ready by offering our Malaysian hospitality and changing mindsets to be a tourist-friendly nation. In the process, VMY mobilizes the entire industry and nation to move up the value chain of tourism product and services offerings, thus contributing towards Malaysia as a top-of-the-mind tourist destination. This sets the pace for the tourism industry to grow on a higher growth trajectory as reflected by the performance of our previous VMYs.

21) Recognizing the importance of VMY, Malaysia will embark on another Visit Malaysia Year in 2014 (VMY 2014). Aptly themed "Celebrating 1Malaysia, Truly Asia", VMY 2014 will showcase the unique selling point of our rich culture and heritage with many ethnic groups living in harmony. VMY 2014 is targeted to attract a new record of 28 million international tourist arrivals and US$23.4 billion (RM76 billion) in tourist receipts in 2014.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

22) The theme, Global Tourism: Game Changers and Pace Setters, is certainly appropriate, relevant and timely as nations move forward to tap the full potential of the tourism industry.

23) Recognising the game changing role of the Government, I congratulate the UNWTO and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for initiating the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign. This initiative is to mobilise the support of Heads of State and Government to mainstream tourism into the national economy.

24) I am confident that this Conference would serve as a platform to further discuss the game changers and pace setters that will make a significant difference to the tourism industry and economy. To all our participants, I wish you a fruitful and productive Conference. To our international participants, I wish you would take some time to travel in this country, especially in Melaka to experience and enjoy the rich Malaysian culture and warm hospitality.

25) Akhir kata dengan lafaz Bismillahirahman nirahim saya dengan sukacitanya merasmikan World Tourism Conference 2013.

Sekian, terima kasih.

 

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