Musa Yusof, a familiar face to travel industry players in Malaysia, has been appointed the new director-general of Tourism Malaysia effective December 3, succeeding Mirza Mohammad Taiyab who recently retired.
Prior to his appointment, Musa was Tourism Malaysia’s senior director, international promotion division (Asia/Africa). He joined Tourism Malaysia (then known as Tourist Development Corporation of Malaysia) on July 7, 1990, as assistant director of enforcement & facilitation division. Since then, he has taken on several key positions including as special officer (tourism) to the then culture, arts & tourism minister Sabbaruddin Chik in 1997 to 1998. Musa was also the director of Tourism Malaysia Paris office from 1998 until 2003.
His experience in Tourism Malaysia includes market development, corporate, international promotion, promotional support and domestic marketing.
Travel trade players interviewed welcomed the appointment, pointing to Musa’s high level of involvement with and support for industry efforts over the years.
KL Tan, president, The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), said: “With his years of experience in Tourism Malaysia, Musa’s appointment augurs well for the tourism industry in the country, especially in marketing, international promotions and local market segmentation.
“My first engagement with Musa was some 10 years ago during his tenure as the director of domestic marketing division. He has been very supportive of MATTA’s promotion activities such as B2B events and overseas sales missions and also MATTA Fairs. Our recent overseas sales missions to China and India would not have been a resounding success without the full support of Musa.”
“I find him eager to work closely with industry players in making Malaysia the preferred travel destination. His encouragement and continuous support over the years has led to driving our nation’s tourism industry forward.”
Musa is also no stranger to another tourism industry association in the country. Uzaidi Udanis, president, Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association, said MITA has been working closely with Musa on the Chinese inbound market in his role as senior director, international promotion division (Asia/Africa).
“With his support and leadership, Malaysia has been able to increase the number of tourist arrivals from China despite the many challenges and stiff competition from other destinations,” he remarked. “I hope he will encourage and endorse more industry-led initiatives and help relook marketing plans and strategies together with MITA.”
Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners’ (MAHO) executive director, Shaharuddin M Saaid, who has known Musa for more than 15 years in his various positions in Tourism Malaysia, too noted the new director-general’s support for tourism industry players.
“I have full confidence that with his long and vast experience, he will undertake and carry on the remarkable job which Mirza had left behind,” Shaharuddin said.
Likewise, Syed Razif Al-Yahya, group managing director of Sutra Travel & Tourism Management Group, pointed out that Musa “mixes well with industry players”.
“He is experienced and knowledgeable about the industry, and understands the travel trade’s issues and challenges. He is the right person for the job, as he has the capability to lead the organisation and take the industry forward.”
Reginald T Pereira, president and CEO, Aariana Hospitality International, said Musa’s experience at the international level will help the destination attract more arrivals to Malaysia, especially from Europe.