by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
TRAVEL agencies and tour companies are encouraged to create more niche and specialised travel packages for various segments that could continue to spur the growth of domestic tourism.
Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (picture; centre) said the packages could be included in a booklet known as “My Malaysia Experience” which is being promoted by Tourism Malaysia.
As it is, the ministry has also been actively assisting travel agents across the country to develop attractive travel packages. Tourism Malaysia has specially also introduced the website www.malaysia.travel to promote these travel offers and packages.
Nancy said since this website was introduced in June, 103 offers and 107 attractive packages have been promoted on this platform.
“According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, outbound tourism expenses recorded RM44.7 billion in 2019.
“Hence, I am of the view that domestic tourism needs to be intensified as Malaysians still cannot travel abroad,” she said at the national-level Asean Tourism Standards Award 2020-2022 ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Nancy said tourism and culture industry players should take advantage of the ministry’s website as a platform to further boost the sector’s domestic tourism.
At the awards ceremony, Motac extended its recognition to 42 tourism industry operators who met the Asean standard requirements for 2020-2022.
The award recipients were categorised into four groups, including Asean Green Hotel Standard, Asean Clean Tourist City Standard, Asean Sustainable Tourism Standard and Asean MICE Venue Standard (Meeting Room).
Nancy said all award recipients should maintain the momentum and in turn practise the recently introduced Asean Tourism Standards at all time to add value to their existing products or services.
The nine tourism standards that have been developed are Asean Green Hotel Standard, Asean Homestay Standard, Asean Community-based Tourism Standard, Asean Clean Tourist City Standard, Asean MICE Venue Standard (Meeting Room), Asean Sustainable Tourism Standard, Asean Spa Services Standard, Asean Public Toilet Standard and Asean MICE Venue Standard (Exhibition Venue).
She said such an initiative would enable the industry to survive, while being more sustainable amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Therefore, I am confident that the nine tourism standards will lead to a sustainable Asean tourism industry,” she added.