KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — Malaysia is confident of meeting its target of 33.1 million tourist arrivals this year on expectation of higher visitors from Japan and other main markets.
According to the Tourism Malaysia website, Malaysia is also eyeing tourism receipts of about RM134 billion from the number of arrivals.
In 2017, Malaysia registered 25.9 million tourist arrivals, contributing RM82.2 billion to the revenue.
Tourism Malaysia Senior Director, International Promotion Division Asia/Africa Datuk Musa Yusof said Singapore, Indonesia, China, Brunei and Thailand were the country’s top five major markets last year in terms of the number of tourist arrivals.
“There is an ongoing promotion to attract more Japanese tourists. We are doing a tactical campaign through joint initiatives with operators in Japan to bring in the tourist traffic to Malaysia,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the inaugural Japan Night View Tourism Festival here yesterday.
Musa said as the Japanese tourists would also go to other parts of Asean countries, there was a need to promote Malaysia more effectively.
“For the past 12 years, Malaysia is the number one place for ‘Japan’s Preferred Destination for Long Stay’,” he said.
Musa emphasised that besides Malaysia’s “My Second Home programme” and leisure travellers, a homestay programme targeting Japanese students is another market segment that Tourism Malaysia is promoting.
“Malaysia has been Japanese traditional market for tourism and one of the top destinations. However, they are moving to new Asean destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos,” he said.
He asserted the need to increase frequency of flights between Malaysia and Japan in order to attract more Japanese tourists due to seat constraints with the increasing number of Malaysian tourists visiting Japan.
Tourism Malaysia is working with the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) in September this year to promote Malaysia along with other Malaysian tour operators, he added.
Meanwhile, Director of Yakei Convention and Visitors Bureau Motoo Marumaru said with growing tourism potential between Japan and Malaysia, many Japanese travel facilities and companies were looking to tap into the booming Malaysian travel market.
“At the first ever Yakei Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian tour and travel-related companies engaged with more than 30 Yakei-related travel facilities from Japan in broadening their travel network and creating customised travel packages,” he told Bernama.
The first-ever Yakei Summit 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday was hosted by the Yakei Convention and Visitors Bureau, a Yakei or Japan’s night-view tourism organisation.
The one-day summit was attended by members of Japan and Malaysian travel industry players, Deputy Mayor of Nagasaki City Kunihiko Katou and Tourism Malaysia representatives. — Bernama