Malaysia Tourism Council (MTC) is taking the lead to encourage all tourism associations to develop new products and promote off-the-beaten-path destinations in Malaysia, in order to appeal to the domestic crowd.
It recently trained the local community at Lenggong Valley, a UNESCO certified site in Perak, to become product operators and tailor their services for the domestic market, while international borders remain closed.
MTC president, Uzaidi Udanis, shared: “It is important for the local community to benefit from tourism. Lenggong Valley has received UNESCO status since 2012, but not many Malaysians have been there as it is not well-promoted.”
Since the government allowed domestic tours to resume earlier this month – with travel limited to between recovery movement control order (RMCO) states, and via government-registered tour agencies – Uzaidi said MTC’s first project is to organise a technical visit for travel agents to Lenggong Valley early next month.
The purpose of the two-day, one-night visit is to connect travel agents with local operators and community leaders so they can network and explore business opportunities.
Uzaidi said: “In the pre-Covid period, many small operators in Malaysia did not develop their own tour products, but instead relied on selling tours developed by big wholesalers in Malaysia (that were designed) for the foreign inbound market.
“We are encouraging these smaller players to develop their own tourism products for the domestic market, (which can be marketed to) international inbound tourists when the border reopens.”
MTC also plans to host technical visits for agents to Pulau Tuba in Langkawi and the islands off Johor in June; as well as promote eco-tourism and community-based tourism in these destinations, in line with the National Tourism Masterplan.
Said Uzaidi: “In these challenging times, agents can no longer survive by selling dry rooms only as they will be competing directly with hotels.”