Visit Malaysia Year 2020 to be modified following Covid-19 outbreak, says tourism minister

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the spread of Covid-19 had impacted the country and the international tourism industry needed an effective initiative and strategy to ensure the mission of attracting tourists is not affected.― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the spread of Covid-19 had impacted the country and the international tourism industry needed an effective initiative and strategy to ensure the mission of attracting tourists is not affected.― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 18 — The direction and promotion of Visit Malaysia Year (VM2020) will be modified in line with the situation of the country following the Covid-19 infection.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the spread of Covid-19 had impacted the country and the international tourism industry needed an effective initiative and strategy to ensure the mission of attracting tourists is not affected.

For the purpose, he said the ministry had called a large section of Tourism Malaysia marketing managers from abroad to share their views and formulate the latest measures to combat the effects of the infection.

“Currently, our primary focus is on the Covid-19 outbreak in China which can and has affected the local and global tourism sector.

“However, the disaster which hit mainland China can be a factor affecting the arrival of tourists from China to Malaysia and thus affecting VM2020,” he said at a dinner held in conjunction with Tourism Malaysia Marketing Managers conference from abroad here last night.

The four-day conference starting yesterday which was jointly organised by Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad, was attended by 26 marketing managers as well as 11 overseas office directors.

Mohamaddin said China is a traditional market important to Malaysia as it is one of the top 10 countries contributing to the national economy via the tourism sector.

He said there is a need for effective strategy and plan of action to rehabilitate VM2020 campaign especially after Covid-19.

Mohamaddin said for the time being, Tourism Malaysia marketing managers should focus on markets not affected by the outbreak such as Asean, India, West Asia as well as South Korea.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak in China, the government on January 27 had suspended all immigration facilities to Chinese nationals from Hubei Province including Wuhan. — Bernama

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