Matta urges tourism players to embrace digital marketing and technology

It has set up a technology platform and is moving forward to ensure that all hotel inventories and tour products are included


THE tourism industry is moving towards embracing technology in its marketing, said Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang (picture).

“The disruptive technology we’ve had over the years include online booking engines and e-hailing platforms, so Matta is also encouraging its members to move into digital marketing,” he said.

The association has set up a technology platform and is moving forward to ensure that all hotel inventories and tour products are included there.

“It goes without saying that if we don’t keep up with technology, we’d better close shop.

“We agree with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement to embark on digital marketing,” he said.

Meanwhile on the departure levy, Tan said Matta is not of the stance that this would hurt tourism, but added that the targets of Visit Malaysia 2020 would be easier to reach without it.

“We still hope that the departure levy would be deferred and that what Dr Mahathir said would be true, which was to consider the delay of its implementation,” he said.

On another note, Tourism Johor — for its Visit Johor 2020 campaign, in conjunction with that of the nation — has targeted 8.4 million overnight visitors for 20 destinations and 20 events.

Johor State Executive Committee chairman for Tourism, Women, Family and Community Development Liow Cai Tung hopes that with Tourism Johor’s efforts, the state would contribute to Visit Malaysia 2020’s target of 30 million international tourists.

She added that Desaru Coast, an integrated coastal getaway launched in July, is one of the newer products being offered by the state to promote its status as a tourist destination.

“To highlight the uniqueness of each district, we have decided to hold events and festivals.

“That way, districts with no theme park attractions will still receive domestic and international arrivals,” she said. She highlighted that a few events were established specifically for the campaign, like the Chingay Festival and Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival in Johor.

“These festivals have been around for years now, and I can say that they have attracted many tourists regardless of backgrounds.”

In addition, a campaign-specific event called “Discovery Darul Ta’zim” is expected to bring tourists around the state for three days and two nights.