SEPANG, Jan 1 ― A total of 299 air travellers got to experience Malaysian hospitality first-hand today in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign, when they were treated to a grand reception at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) this morning.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who was present at the reception, expressed hope that all Malaysians would work together towards the success of VM2020.

“Whether state or federal level, we hope everyone will work together towards this national mission,” he said briefly to reporters here.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad officially launched VMY2020 and said the government is targeting to achieve 30 million international tourists and RM100 billion revenue in the tourism sector through the campaign.

This morning, the 299 passengers ― including tourists and Malaysians ― on board an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi were presented with special tokens that represent Malaysia and draped with a special VM2020 sash as they were greeted by Mohamaddin and Tourism Malaysia staff at their arrival gate.

Apart from the special tokens, the passengers were also treated to traditional dance and music performances.

Besides KLIA, similar receptions were also held concurrently at 22 entry points throughout the country.

This is the fifth edition of Visit Malaysia Year, this time with the theme “Visit Truly Asia Malaysia 2020” which used a logo inspired by Malaysian batik which highlighted various national icons such as the hornbill, hibiscus, wild ferns and the colours of the national flag.

The Visit Malaysia Year campaign was first held in 1990 with the theme “Fascinating Malaysia” followed by the second edition in 1994 themed  “Fascinating Malaysia ― Naturally More” and the third edition in 2007 themed  “Celebrating 50 Years of Nationhood” while the fourth was launched in 2014 with the slogan “Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia”.