by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
TOURISM Malaysia showed its support for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) 2019 by organising “Meet-and-Greet Sessions” with MotoGP riders at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (Matic) yesterday.
Tourism Malaysia DG Datuk Musa Yusof said the popular motorsport event has a huge potential in attracting spectators not just across the region but from all over the world.
“The Malaysian leg of the race has garnered a popular following both among Malaysians and international fans. MotoGP fans attendance alone has achieved more than 1.81 million people from 1999 to 2018.
“MotoGP is a good platform to showcase Malaysia to a wide audience as it is seen in over 290 million homes across 59 countries, with hundreds of millions of page views online and millions of followers on social media,” he said.
Besides creating awareness on other motorsport events in Malaysia — such as the FIM Endurance World Championship and FIA World Touring Car Cup — motorsport fans are given the opportunity to meet their favourite racers.
Highlights of the event include talks and exclusive meet-and-greet sessions with riders from the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, Red Bull KTM Ajo Riders and the Onexox TKKR SAG Team.
A total of 13 exhibitors are also taking part namely Royal Enfield, Satin Alpha Biker Club, WSF Motor Touring Malaysia, Mata Eyewear, DSL Setia Sdn Bhd, The Rift, Hype Hotel Port Dickson, Sbkcrew.com, HJC Helmets and Ole-Ole.
Tourism Malaysia has worked with international tour agents to help promote and sell MotoGP packages in various markets overseas. A total of 5,467 MotoGP packages worth RM4.72 million have been sold this year.
Tourism Malaysia has partnered with Sepang International Circuit to place sporting events as part of the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) calendar.
Musa said events like these bring benefits not only to the tourism industry but also to the general economy of Malaysia.
“The MotoGP is an important event for us to leverage the interest of big bikers who love high-powered machines and the excitement of the race. It is an opportunity for us to fulfil that interest while promoting Malaysia as a biking tour destination,” he said.
Musa also said that the up-coming VM2020 campaign — with critical support from industry players — will reach the target of 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion tourist receipts.
The event marks the beginning of the highly anticipated Malaysian MotoGP starting from Nov 1 to 3 at Sepang International Circuit.
Malaysia is the regional pioneer in motorsport events, which began with the hosting of the MotoGP in 1990. It is the longest-running international motorsport event hosted in the country.