The tourism success of Malaysia is something we can all learn from. According to the latest data from the UN World Tourism Organization, it is the second most visited country in Asia after China. Boasting of 24.6 million arrivals last year, it ranks No. 9 globally among countries with the most number of tourists, next only to the UK, Turkey & Germany.
Hard to believe, but this is only because “in Malaysia, we treat tourism as a serious business.” These words were uttered by no less than Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism, YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, who met with the press at the Makati Shang-ri La to orient and give developments in her country’s tourism industry.
Meeting Dr. Ng Yen Yen in person, one can easily say that she fits the role of Malaysia’s chief tourism figure to a T. She appeared very elegant, articulate and knowledgeable. I was surprised to find that Malaysia’s tourism ministers are elected, not appointed, since they follow the British system of government.The fact that they’re answerable to the people and the taxpayers makes public officials like Dr. Yen Yen very driven and results-oriented.
And Malaysia has been successful in luring tourists because it has a good product to sell and provide all the necessary enticements.
” We have good food, we have culture and of course shopping. If you want duty-free at very competitive prices, go to Langkawi and Labuan, we won’t tax you there.Malaysia is also known for cheap watches and make-up. The only thing we can’t give you are snow and ice because of our tropical weather, but even snow and ice is possible now with our new theme park,” Dr. Yen Yen said.
In the end, it all depends on the sense of security that a country can give its tourists. She added that Malaysia may be racially and culturally diverse but it has always boasted of political stability.No coups, no bombing threats, no uprisings.” “Foremostly, we believe that conflict brings no prosperity, the minister said.
The tourism success of Malaysia is something Filipinos can learn from, as I said. I went home after that event impressed about Malaysia’s hard work and sense of unity in achieving their purpose. Tourism indeed brings dollars and dollars bring about jobs and a healthy economy. When does the Philippines get its act together and do the same?
See also my previous posts about Malaysia: