To boost the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign (VM2020), the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is intensifying its effort to attract more domestic visitors.
MOTAC General Secretary Noor Zari Hamat said it was part of efforts to mitigate the anticipated decrease in tourist arrivals in foreign countries following travel restrictions imposed by the global spread of COVID-19.
"As we know, tourism is one of the sectors affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Ministry is actively promoting local tourists to ensure that the momentum VM2020 is preserved".
"We believe this will have a major impact on the country's tourism industry since last year the government recorded RM80 billion in domestic tourism income," he said.
Noor Zari added that the ministry also aims to draw more visitors from the alternative market sectors primarily Thailand, Indonesia, Western Europe, Middle East, Asia, and North Africa, in addition to promoting domestic tourism.
He mentioned that the government has drawn up different strategies and holistic approaches to support the economic impact of COVID-19 among tourism industry players.
"Besides, 2019 revenues show nearly 50 percent of tourists who come here from neighboring countries, while tourists from India increase their arrivals in the same year by 20 percent," he said.
"We will focus on tourist arrivals from new markets, even though thousands of tourists, particularly from China, have canceled their visit to Malaysia.
The Crisis Management Task Force of Tourism Malaysia has been enabled to provide credible information to tourists that Malaysia is a safe tourist destination.
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