Foreign films can promote Malaysia on world tourism map

Matta is willing to provide assistance in the future for similar ventures


The huge success of the movie Crazy Rich Asians with a few scenes filmed in Malaysia would help to promote the county on the world’s tourism map.

The romantic comedy-drama film — which had garnered more than US$120 million (RM498 million) at the box office and starred Ipoh-born Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh — has a few sets in Langkawi, Penang and Kuala Lumpur (KL) including the historic Carcosa Seri Negara.

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) is willing to provide assistance in the future for similar ventures as a way to promote Malaysia.

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang (picture) said although the association does not have the funds to commit in the film-making process to promote Malaysia as a tourist destination, it is ready to support in other means.

“We can definitely sponsor the little things, like accommodation, logistics and transportation,” he said at the pre-event media briefing for the Matta Fair yesterday in KL.

According to the Tourism Malaysia blog, there are five sets in Malaysia that were featured in the movie — Carcosa Seri Negara in KL, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang, Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, and Astor Bar at The St Regis KL.

Other sets were reported to be the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang, and BLVD House, Naza Towers @ Platinum Park in KL.

Reuters reported that the movie studio behind the film, the Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, is already planning for a sequel following the movie’s box office success.

The movie began airing in Malaysia on Aug 22, slightly later than the US which went on screen on Aug 15.

Malaysia is not new to foreign movie makers as a possible set for their movie. Among the movies that were filmed in Malaysia are Blackhat (2015), The Viral Factor (2012), After This Our Exile (2006), Anna and the King (1999), Entrapment (1999) and Police Story 3: Super Cop (1992).

The Summer Palace set created in Langkawi for Anna and the King was not dismantled and the local government had it made a permanent structure.

Hollywood movie makers are turning to Asian countries to create their set, largely due to the increasing economic growth of the region’s population. The use of such sets would also promote a country.

The Matta Fair will be held from Sept 7-9 at the Putra World Trade Centre. The public is advised to take public transport to the event venue.

The fair will feature 1,336 exhibition booths occupying seven halls, alongside Taiwan as “Asia’s Favourite Destination”. Matta expects to hit RM220 million in sales from the three-day event.