Tourism Malaysia partners Visa to grow inbound tourism

Visa will be harnessing its data analytics capabilities to generate useful traveller insights which will help transform tourists travel experiences


TOURISM Malaysia has entered into a long-term partnership with Visa Malaysia to support the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry in driving inbound tourism.

Tourism Malaysia DG Datuk Musa Yusof (picture) said the collaboration with Visa was due to the latter being one of the leading payments technology companies in the world with a presence in more than 200 countries and has more than 3.4 billion cards worldwide.

“We need data. Technology is changing, we want insights into the expenditure pattern and before the tourists arrive (in Malaysia) we already have the data.

“This way, we can devise our programme more orderly with the help of industry players,” he told reporters after the memorandum of collaboration signing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Visa will be harnessing its data analytics capabilities and research to generate useful traveller insights which will help transform tourists travel experiences when they visit Malaysia.

The partnership will also leverage the Visa Preferred Merchant Programme which features a variety of rewards and benefits which are popular among tourists visiting Malaysia.

The benefits include dining, shopping, family entertainment and medical wellness offers for Visa cardholders which will be shared through Visa and Tourism Malaysia’s digital media and distribution channels globally.

Additionally, Visa will help promote domestic tourism in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia’s Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign and share a variety of offers that are relevant for local Visa cardholders.

Musa said more than 72 million domestic tourists travelled in 2018, generating revenue of more than RM62 billion.

“Domestic tourism is important. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, we have already done our promotions for the locals to cultivate local tourism, plan vacations and so on,” he said.

He also reiterated that the government’s target of 30 million tourist arrivals and RM100 billion tourism receipts remain unchanged.

“The United Nations World Tourism Organisation said it is still early to revise the target, so we are going to look at what is happening and then we will make a decision, because this is a policy issue which will be decided by the Cabinet.

“All of the activities under Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) will run as per usual depending on the organisers. For example, if there are some organisers who postpone the programme, we will first look at the preparation.

“If the programme is delayed last minute, we will do a business-to-business approach by knocking on the doors of the tour company overseas and sit with them personally to decide what we are going to do. Usually this is better because we are directly meeting the decision makers,” he said.

In the spirit of VM2020, the partnership is also expected to promote Malaysia as a preferred travel destination especially in the shopping segment.

Shopping is considered as one of the popular tourist activities in the country due to the favourable exchange rates, quality of products and diversity of choices.

According to Tourism Malaysia, for the past four consecutive years, shopping had been the biggest share of tourist expenditure, taking up 35.2% of the total tourist receipts from January until September 2019 at RM23.3 billion. This showed an increase of 14.4% compared to 2018.

In tandem with the uptrend of tourist arrivals (January-September 2019), the total tourist expenditure recorded growth of 6.9% to RM66.14 billion.

For 2019, Malaysia received 26.1 million tourists in comparison to 25.8 million in 2018.

Meanwhile, on health tourism, Musa said the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council has informed that despite the Covid-19 situation, it is not affected so far.

“Health is important, and the market is coming in, mostly from Indonesia and the surrounding areas. Of course, China is one of the markets, but the number is small,” he added.