Tourism industry to leverage on social media

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Graphic By TMR

The tourism industry is looking to leverage on international and local travellers’ social media posts to promote the country as opposed to conventional advertisements used previously.

Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (picture) said 90% of the posts published by millennials on the big three social media platforms — Instagram, Twitter and Facebook — are mostly on their travels and adventure.

“Digital marketing solutions have pulled all sorts of arrivals into Malaysia, such as Europeans who came just to have a taste of laksa.

“There is no longer a need to print brochures or use television advertisements,” he said at the launch of the World Tourism Day in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Muhammad Baktiar said social media content sharing also advertises food, which increases economic contribution from more than one segment.

“Apart from utilising digital media platform, we are also looking into greeting arrivals with colourful traditional dances, arts and performances,” he said.

The Malaysian Reserve had previously reported that even e-commerce players are utilising social media platforms to attract traffic and increase brand visibility.

According to the report, in Malaysia, social media platforms are valued between RM280.46 million and RM560.91 million.

Muhammad Bakhtiar said the ministry, together with ThinkCity Sdn Bhd, is working towards rejuvenating Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur as an arts and cultural attraction.

“Tourists come to Malaysia to experience its charm and culture, and that is why we need to revamp the country’s arts and culture centre,” he said.

The World Tourism Day, an initiative by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), is commemorated every year on Sept 27.

Motac Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi said the celebration is to foster and raise community awareness in regard to tourism.

Motac, in conjunction with the World Tourism Day, introduced an Interactive Tourism Mini Exhibition and Let’s Go Digital Tourism Interactive Discussions led by FriedChillies Media Sdn Bhd CEO and founder Mohd Adly Rizal, as well as TEDx speaker Dr AJ Minai.

According to UNWTO, digitalisation in aviation, travel and tourism is expected to generate up to US$305 billion (RM1.2 trillion) for the sector globally through increased profitability.

It is also projected to generate customer benefits valued at US$700 billion.