Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad officially launched the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign logo yesterday at KL International Airport (KLIA), replacing the previous controversial version that received much flak for its amateurish design.
The new logo is inspired by the Malaysian batik, featuring icons such as the hornbill, the national flower of hibiscus, the wild fern, and colours of the Malaysian flag. They represent the diversity of Malaysia’s culture, heritage, flora and fauna, as well as experiences offered as a holiday destination, together with a Visit Truly Asia Malaysia 2020 campaign tagline.
Focusing on ecotourism, arts and culture, the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign is targeting 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion (US$24.3 billion) in tourism receipts.
During his speech, Mahathir called upon the country to embrace the campaign, which has been conceived as a means to reach out to target high-yield markets namely South-east Asia, China, India, UK and Germany.
He reminded stakeholders that the success of the campaign depended on effective promotions, and that the tourism sector needed to “move in tandem with digital transformation” and emphasise on digital marketing with the help of social media platforms.
Mahathir shared: “Through this campaign, we will welcome visitors from all over the world to experience the uniqueness and beauty of Malaysia’s ecotourism attractions including our rainforests, mountains, islands and beaches. At the same time, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in our diverse culture, arts, heritage and history. This is in line with the campaign’s promotional theme – culture, nature and its people.”
The government also recently launched a new RM5 million tourism fund to help private-sector tourism industry players in their destination promotion efforts.
In addition, to bolster the growth of handicraft and homestay businesses, a RM500 million SME tourism fund will be made available by SME Bank for the government to subsidise interest rates by two per cent.
Furthermore, visa-on-arrival (VoA) facilities for Chinese and Indian tourists have also been expanded to 13 entry points in Malaysia, up from the previous six. The VoA can be given to Chinese and Indian tourists who enter Malaysia via Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.
Nigel Wong, secretary-general of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, said: “We applaud the government’s initiatives to assist the private sector and make Visit Malaysia 2020 a success. With just a few more months to go, both the government and private sector now need to step up promotional efforts.”
Uzaidi Udanis, president, Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA), opined: “The launch event at KLIA had a strong turnout from the private sector and government agencies, which is proof that government and private sector partnership is strong, and that the people are fully supportive of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign.
“As part of our efforts, MITA has conducted boot camps for inbound tourism players in almost all states, to help identify and develop new tourism products and packages,” he added.