Welcome Remarks by H.E. Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia

YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia

YAB Datuk Seri Ir. Idris Hj. Haron Chief Minister of Melaka H.E. Mr. Zoltan Somogyi Executive Director of UN World Tourism Organisation Honourable Ministers and Vice Ministers Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners Distinguished Guests and Speakers Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good morning,

1) It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to the World Tourism Conference (WTC) 2013 here in this UNESCO heritage city of Melaka. At the same time, I wish to record my deepest appreciation to YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia for gracing this historic occasion and delivering the keynote address shortly. Sir, your kind presence here is a testimony of the importance the Malaysian Government places on the tourism industry, and your strong commitment to position tourism at the forefront of the national and global development agenda.

2) My appreciation also goes to YAB Datuk Seri Ir. Idris Hj. Haron, the Chief Minister of Melaka, for the close collaboration in organizing this Conference. I would like to thank UNWTO for the unwavering support and entrusting Malaysia with the privilege to continue hosting the WTC. The success of this 3rd edition of the World Tourism Conference can be attributed to the strategic partnership between UNWTO, the State Government of Melaka and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia.

3) This Conference has been well received. We are indeed honored to have with us 6 Honorable Ministers and 3 Deputy Ministers of Tourism and 650 delegates from 43 countries. For the benefit of the delegates, I would like to highlight some of the special preparations we have made for this Conference.

4) For a start, this Conference is held at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which showcases not only the heritage buildings but more importantly allows participants to experience the living culture and heritage of Melaka. Next, the theme, Global Tourism: Game Changers and Pace Setters has been specifically formulated to provide insights and inspirations to transform the tourism industry. Towards this end, we have also lined up authoritative and renowned speakers to share their views and expertise on the game changers and pace setters in four major areas.

5) In the first session, Beyond Mass Tourism will focus on strategies that look beyond numbers, capitalizing on niche products with optimal pricing and right market targeting to obtain higher yields. Under Innovative Marketing, there will be an exchange of ideas on new approaches to attract affluent travellers that will have significant returns to the tourism industry. It will be interesting to learn about the "Korean Wave", which has been a game changer in terms of penetrating many countries, attracting more tourists to visit Korea.

6) New Directions for Tourism Product Development will feature the innovative Homestay program and its variants as well as strategies to tap the vast potential of domestic tourism and youth or Gen-Y travelers. The last session will cover the thought-provoking topic of Boon or Bane of the Tourism Sector. In this context, issues on the importance of mega events, low cost carriers and cruise tourism will be deliberated.

7) I look forward to the sharing of success stories and experiences which can provide useful lessons on the game changers and pace setters that will have a great impact on the economy and tourism industry. In addition, this Conference will provide the platform to gain knowledge on the future outlook and mega trends that will enable policy makers, industry players and stakeholders to chart the way forward to expedite the growth and development of tourism. The conference also offers tremendous opportunities for networking, collaboration and working in partnership with National Tourism Organizations, private sector companies, institutions of higher learning and NGOs for mutual benefit. To sum up, I trust you will have an intellectually stimulating and successful Conference.

8) To make your stay even more meaningful, I hope that you will take time off to explore and enjoy the beauty and wonders of Melaka and Malaysia. In addition, we look forward to welcome you again during Visit Malaysia Year 2014 - Celebrating 1Malaysia…Truly Asia.

Thank you.


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