Views of key industry players needed to chart direction of tourism industry, says Tiong

KUALA LUMPUR: The views and suggestions of key tourism industry partners need to be taken into account to further improve the country’s tourism industry on par with the best practices in the region, says Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said this is the right time for the country to start attracting foreign tourists, as the world is gradually recovering from the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Most countries around the world have already opened their borders as they transition to the post-pandemic recovery phase.

“As such, foreign tourists especially from South-East Asia and the Asian region need to be given attention,” he said in a statement Thursday (Dec 22).

Earlier, he delivered the message before chairing the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry 2023 Budget Coordination and Direction Meeting.

Tiong said the ministry’s focus next year is to strengthen and increase strategic cooperation with industry partners, especially in intensifying efforts to promote Malaysia at the international level.

“The ministry also needs to find a way on how the tourism sector can look into aspects of connectivity, new attractions, availability of quality tourism infrastructure and service through strategic cooperation,” he said.

To get the ministry out of its comfort zone and act progressively in an effort to attract foreign tourists, Tiong said its personnel need to stop outdated thinking and innovate to compete with countries in the South-East Asian region such as Thailand, Vietnam and others.

“As you know, those countries have surpassed Malaysia in the tourism industry, so it is very important for the ministry to do something aggressively to remain competitive,” he said.

At the same time, he said the ministry also needs to re-establish goals based on Key Performance Indicators or KPIs and all members of the ministry, including agencies under the ministry need to commit to realising them.

“I also reminded them that the Prime Minister has high hopes for the tourism with hopes that the influx of foreign tourists can increase next year, further bringing economic benefits to the people and the country,” he said.

He also asked for the involvement and roles of all relevant parties to think of the best measures to promote the tourism industry in their respective states in the post-pandemic period. – Bernama