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Date [ 2013-02-18, 11:05 ]

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress)  by Ramani Ratir = Visit Malaysia 2014 (VMY 2014) is for next year. But the Government, through its Ministry of Tourism is making an early start.  

Malaysia with its fascinating multi-cultural society, never fails to surprise and delight visitors. Traditionally the focus had been on culture, heritage, food, shopping and ecotourism. Only in recent years has attention been turned on new attractions, mainly homestays, educational. Coming to the fore is sports related tourism with the F1 races leading the pact. Now just on the horizon is luxury tourism.

Though a full calendar for VMY 2014 has yet to emerge, it can be assumed events have been planned related to the above mentioned items.

In the past two years, the Ministry of Tourism has worked hard to lay the ground work with appearances at trade shows and the international media. There is no doubt the agenda is to increase tourist arrivals from the last count of 23 million to 28 million in 2014.

Therefore for next year, Malaysia has to present itself as the complete new holiday package to not just one category of travellers but multiple. However, the country will stick to its well-known tag line – Malaysia – Truly ASIA.

What is new is the theme song. As the official singer for the campaign, Ella, Malaysia’s Queen of Rock, delivered the song. Called, 'Celebrating 1Malaysia, Truly Asia. It was in an upbeat pop style, so as to appeal to an international market

Ella sang the song after Prime Minster Najib had officially opened the tourism carnival on January 18, 2013, at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur.He did this by hitting a traditional drum three times in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people. The prelude was the simultaneous beating of 500 drums by various ethnic groups in Malaysia and choreographed by Pak Ngah. It. signified the official launch of the “Visit Malaysia Year 2014” promotional campaign by the Prime Minister.

Najib emphasized that,” The project did not only involve the Ministry of Tourism but every ministry, agency and state government, to ensure its success. All of us have a role to play to make Visit Malaysia Year 2014 a success. From the entry point, Immigration officers who stamp the tourists, passports, Customs officers, taxi drivers, hotel staff, business people, tour operators and the Malaysian people. We must show our warm welcome. We must give them the feeling that if they visit Malaysia, they will be treated with warmth and courtesy from all of us.”

Also present were the Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and wife Datin Seri Maznah Rais and Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his wife.

Najib pointed out that Malaysia has its own unique features, not found elsewhere, among them its fauna and flora, among the best ecosystem in the world, cosmopolitan cities, fourth best location in the world for shopping and more. “.Furthermore, the peace and stability here make our country very attractive as a travel destination,” he informed and went on to add,” The tourism industry has provided 1.8 million jobs and contributed RM168 billion to the national gross income. Furthermore, Malaysia is ranked as the 10th friendliest country in the world.” Certainly a boost for VMY 2014.

Visitors to the carnival had earlier on enjoyed visiting the hundreds of stalls and booths set up for the event which would go on for another two days. Many purchased
special holiday packages from the more than 200 booths set up by hotels, travel agents and tourism product operators. 

They also had a preview of the coming events, some of which were the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival, Parks and Gardens and 1Malaysia International Shoe Festival. There was a display of 60 different lanterns and lights, exhibition on 1Malaysia Chopper Bikes and Bicycles, a fruit and food bazaar.

Apart from Ella, there was also a series of performances by other local artistes such as Jimmy Palikat, Black Mentor and Khatijah Ibrahim.
The night ended with an amazing display of fireworks.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the tourism carnival was held to create an awareness on the economic importance of tourism...“While 2014 may still be a year away, the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Malaysia will waste no time in making early preparations to woo the targeted 28 million tourists to visit the country next year” She continued, ”.We are kicking things off in a big way, with this grand tourism carnival to create awareness and gain public and private sector support for the VMY 2014.”

At a press conference at her ministry, she had revealed, “The rakyat has a pivotal role to play by uniting together, to project an excellent and positive image of the country and taking care of our tourism assets by ensuring their cleanliness and conservation, while the tourism service providers deliver their very best.”

Dr Ng felt designating 2014 as VMY was timely as the Asia Pacific region had registered tremendous growth and continues to see a surge in even more inbound tourists over the next few years. Malaysia’s target is to pull in 36 million tourists and RM168 billion in tourist receipts by 2020...

The UN World Tourism Organisation has noted that Malaysia is the 9th most visited country in the world for three consecutive years since 2009. With a track record like that, .Malaysia has every chance of achieving its target.


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