Chapter 7 :MALAYSIA BRANDING SUCCESSONCE, an agro-mining economy in the 1970s, relying mainly on rubber andtin, this land of infinite geographical diversity has made remarkable progresssince. From an unknown country, hampered by its well-known neighbours –Singapore and Thailand, even ridiculed by the foreigners who actuallythought its people still roaming in the jungle and lived on trees, the worldperception on Malaysia today has changed.Malaysia is well known for its uniquely complex multi-ethnic society which hasshaped the image of the country for years. Home to the natives - Orang Asli inthe Peninsular in additional to the vast ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak, itis a country that has left many mesmerised by its rich historical backgroundand unique tapestry of culture that make up the multi ethnic populace, livingtogether in peace and harmony.55 years since the proclamation of Merdeka by the first Prime Minister, TunkuAbdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia now stand tall as an independent andunified nation. Built upon traces of the Malay Malacca Sultanate of the 15thcentury influenced by the Muslim Arabs, Indians and Chinese before thePortuguese, Dutch and British colonizers, the young nation blessed with itsdiversity and immense beauty has evolved into the embodiment of all that isintriguing about Asia.Thus, triggers the ―Malaysia, Truly Asia‖, a slogan launched in 1999 meant toboost its tourism industry with all the advantage which differentiate itself whilepenetrating the international market. It is one of many successful campaignto come, helmed by Ministry of Tourism and Malaysia Tourism PromotionalBoard (MTPB), the ministry‘s arm better known as Tourism Malaysia. A fund ofRM150 million was allocated for the launching of its worldwide marketingcampaign which successfuly attracted 7.4 million tourists, a growth of 43.6%compared to 5.5 million in tourists arrivals in 1998, contributing a total receiptsof RM12.3 billion compared to RM8.6 billion the previous year. ―Malaysia, Truly Asia‖ had elevated the tourism sector to a new level, bothfrom branding and economy perspective.The tourism sector, according to Tourism Minister, Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen hasbeen recognised by the government as a major source of revenue and acatalyst for the Malaysian economic renaissance. Though relatively new,tourism has contributed a total of RM37.4 billion to the Gross National Income(GNI) of the country in 2011. It is now the fifth biggest contributor after oil and
gas, palm oil, manufacturing and retail in revenue, but second in largestforeign exchange earner with RM1 billion a week. ―We will enhance our promotion and marketing campaigns through ourglobal brand ‗Malaysia, Truly Asia‘ ,celebrating diversity to energize thetourism industry and provide the enabling framework to attract and increasetourist arrivals,‖ said Dato Sri Dr. Ng as quoted by The Star, adding the Ministryis pushing itself to ensure that the sector drives transformation in both thesocial and economic landscape.Like wise, "Malaysia, Truly Asia campaign,‖ according to DatoMirzaMohammad Taiyab, Director-General of Tourism Malaysia, ―has beensuccessfully communicated through the various marketing efforts of TourismMalaysia and has helped to establish a strong and distinctive personality orimage of Malaysia as a must-visit premier holiday destination in Asia."Nonetheless, ―Malaysia, Truly Asia‖ might just owe its success to ―Visit MalaysiaYear‖, an earlier campaign launched by the ministry, then known as theMinistry of Tourism and Culture, in 1990. Themed ―Fascinating Malaysia‖,it wasallocated with a budget of RM100 million, said to be one of the mostexpensive campaigns organised back then. The then Prime Minister, Dato SeriDr Mahathir Mohamad in his speech during the launch, highlighted on thepotential of tourism industry as means to boost the country‘s development.―Visit Malaysia Year‖ was held following the successful hosting of 1989 SEAGames and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).In his address at the 1989 National Meeting on Malaysia, organised by theWorld Economic Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Mahathir, said: ―While it iscomforting that the current account still shows a modest surplus, we arenevertheless determined to address the problem of the growing invisiblesdeficit. Central to this is the promotion of tourism. 1990 is ‗Visit Malaysia Year.‘More will be done to promote inbound tourism. The unexploited tourismpotential is still very big and indications are that tourism and relatedindustries will have high growth rates in the 90s.‖In point of fact, ―Visit Malaysia Year‖ 1990 marked the beginning of asuccessful revival of tourism industry in Malaysia. Tourist arrivals were boostedto 7.4 million with total receipts of RM4.8 billion compared to 4.8 million touristsin 1989 with receipts at RM2.803 billion. Since then, consistent efforts by
Tourism Malaysia has pushed the tourism industry to be one of the big playersin Malaysia‘s economic growth.The industry suffered major setbacks due to Gulf War that saw tourist arrivalsdeclining to 5.8 million in 1992. The industry was revitalize as the second ―VisitMalaysia Year‖ launched in 1994, carrying the theme, ―Fascinating Malaysia –Naturally More‖ which resulted in an increase of tourist arrivals to 7.2 million.The third edition of ―Visit Malaysia Year‖ was perhaps the most intensified, ifnot sentimental as Malaysia welcomes the Golden Jubliee that marked asiginificant milestone in the history of the nation, a remembrance of thestruggle and sacrifices of its founding fathers. Themed ―Celebrating 50 Yearsof Nationhood‖, the declaration was made by current Prime Minister, Dato SriMohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, then Deputy Prime Minister, at the historicalDataran Merdeka just before the countdown to the 2006 New Year. It was adecision made by the Cabinet, ―a way to showcase a modern Malaysia tothe world‖, said Najib in his address.The celebration of ―Visit Malaysia Year‖ is one of the countrys efforts topromote Malaysia as a popular tourist destination in order to generate amajor source of income for the country. Najib, in his speech, expressed hopethat the programme will foster greater solidarity harmony and wellbeing forthe people, which will also be experienced by the tourists. He stated thatbesides encouraging economic growth, such event will also open jobopportunities for Malaysians.―Visit Malaysia Year‖ 2007 campaign which spanned across the globe with abudget of RM200 million surpassed its target of 20 million to record 20.97million tourist arrivals, bringing in a whooping receipts totalling RM46.1 billioncompared to RM36.3 billion in 2006. It left a big impact with its 50 majorevents, organised in keeping with the siginificance of the number of yearssince Malaysia has been independent. The grand launching on January 6th,2007, saw the unveiling of the Eye of Malaysia, the largest portableobservation wheel in the world, similar to the famous London Eye while theLake Titiwangsa Garden was transformed into a watery audiovisualwonderland. August, the month of Merdeka was filled with, from the muchanticipated cultural perfomances, to street shows, apart from the Citrawarnaor Colours and Flavours of Malaysia parade, an annual event showcasing therich and diverse cultural heritage of the country.At the UNTWO Conference – labeled – ―Mainstreaming Tourism In The Media‖,held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 24 March 2011, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia,Datuk Dr Victor Wee laid down the key points that led to the successful
promotion of ―Visit Malaysia Year‖ 2007. Planned commercials via TV telecastsand the printed media, echoing the look of movie blockbusters, he said, wereamong the strategies adopted to announce the event, besides mediafamiliarization to ensure continuous exposure on the international scene.According to the paper, a total of 29 MegaFam Programmes were organized,with 4,790 international media participants in 2007 that accounted to apublicity value estimated at RM67 million!To achieve the 2007 target, Tourism Malaysia worked on improving thehospitality services. The ―Malaysia Welcomes the World‖ programme waslaunched to train 20,000 front liners on how to become gracious hosts andsubsequently providing over a million job opportunities, generating a totalrevenue of RM103 billion in 2007. ―The growth of the tourism sector has alsoopened up new employment opportunities across diverse industries,‖ said DrNg, ―such as retail, food and beverage, accommodation, transport andhandicrafts.‖ In 2011 alone, a total of 55,565 jobs were created, pushing the2012 target to 90,542 jobs.The Ministry, according to Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, is pushing itself to ensurethat the sector drives transformation in both the social and economiclandscape―There is still untapped potential within the tourism sector that canprovide a viable growth platform for the country,‖ she said.Malaysia, according to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), isthe ninth most visited country in the world, a spot held for three consecutiveyears since 2009. Apart from that, Malaysia is being voted second BestShopping Destination in the Asia Pacific for 2012 according to the GlobeShopper Index. In a report by HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, carried by ForbesOnline, Malaysia was also named the 10th friendliest nation for ―satisfyingsocial life, easy local travel and better housing.‖Even Malaysian resort operators made the country proud at the prestigiousWorld Luxury Hotel Awards 2012, including The Westin Langkawi Resort andSpa and Datai Langkawi for Asia Luxury Island Resort and Luxury Island Resortrespectively, along with other Malaysian hotels and resorts such as Palace ofthe Golden Horses (for Luxury Golf Resort), Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur (for LuxuryCity Hotel), Shangri-La‘s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa (for Asia Luxury FamilyHotel), and Pan Pacific Kuala Lumpur International Airport (for Asia LuxuryAirport Hotel).
2010 left a big impact as well when Malaysia was listed by Lonely Planet in thelist for Best in Travel and Best Value Destination, and second in BestInternational Tourism Destination (2009 & 2010) by the America‘s GlobalTraveller Magazine. Kuala Lumpur was also hailed as one of the 31 suggestedtourist‘s destinations. At the 2010 World Travel Award, few of Malaysian resortoperators grabbed several awards, include Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Sabah(Asia‘s Leading Green Hotel), The Andaman Langkawi (Asia‘s Leading SpaResort) and Resort World Genting (World Leading Casino Resort and Asia‘sLeading Family Resort).Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen applauded Malaysia being a tourism-friendly nationas one of many factor that contributed to the tremendous development inthe tourism industry. In regards to further understand the significance of thetourism industry and the importance of being a first-rate service provider, the―Mesra Malaysia‖ course was then initiated with the aim to produce andretain a competent tourism industry work force capable of providingcustomer service of world-class standards. The course, a must for tour guide inobtaining their license, also encourage Malaysians to constantly extendquality customer service and to treat customers in a polite, amiable andprofessional manner at all times.A vulnarable industry though, the tourism sector were slapped with unforseenevents such as the September 11 terrorists attacks on New York‘s Twin Tower(2001) and the widespread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, anepidemic known as SARS in Asia (2003). However, the setback was a blessingin disguise for Malaysia who repositioned herself within the tourism circle in themillenium, shifting its attention to the Middle East market, among others. From1985 – 1997, UNTWO listed Asia Pacific as Malaysia‘s biggest tourist supplier,contributing 87%, with mostly arriving from Singapore and Japan.To maintain its momentum, by acknowledging the global contraction of thetourism industry, the ministry set its eye on domestic tourism. ―Cuti-CutiMalaysia‖ made its debut on 11th September 1999 to stimulate the growth ofthe number of domestic tourists in the country.The main objective of thecampaign, according to Musa Yusof, Director Domestic Marketing Division ofTourism Malaysia in an interview with Gaya Travel, was to encourage thelocals to plan their vacation properly while reversing the view thatvacationing is something unnecessary and a waste of time and money. Hesaid, it was also aimed to change the ‗balik kampung’ or back to hometowntradition into a tourism activity.In 2008, ―Cuti-Cuti Malaysia‖ was given a new image – ―Zoom! Malaysia‖,launched by former Prime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on
May 14, aimed to lure more Malaysians to travel within the country and toencourage them to look at Malaysia with a fresh perspective. It was set tospark the interest in lesser-known and new places of interest in the hope ofcreating a greater exposure for local tourism products and a bigger presencefor domestic tourism after a 2009 forecast of a 9.3% drop in foreign touristarrivals from 22.05 million in 2008. The campaign was in line with thegovernment‘s effort to strengthen and stimulate domestic tourism bymotivating Malaysians to plan their holidays and explore the diverseattractions within Malaysia, besides encouraging national integration. Under Dato Sri Dr Ng Yen Yens administration, the short lived ―Zoom!Malaysia‖ was renamed ―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖, in line with the 1Malaysiaconcept introduced by the Prime Minister. The move proven to be a successas more Malaysians are embracing the ―Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia‖ idea as statisticsshows a steady increase in the domestic tourism sector. Amid the worldeconomic downturn in 2009, the campaign had further strengthened theimage of Malaysia as a desirable holiday destination by generating RM52billion in revenue, with tourist arrivals of 23.65 million, slightly higher than earlierforecasts of 22.96 million.The diverse population has contributed to Malaysia‘s excellent tourism assets,creating a wider foundation for the industry. 2012 most intriguing product isthe increasingly popular Homestay programme. Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yenannounced, the Homestay programme surpassed its target of 23% ofoccupancy rate, achieved instead 32% in rate since the programme wasintroduced in 1995 in Temerloh, Pahang. The total Homestay programmerevenue between January and June 2012, according to Tourism Malaysia,deputy director-general, Datuk Azizan Nordin, is ―RM8,710,526 million, whichwas an increase of 45.2% compared with the same period last year.‖Under the programme, according to the ministry‘s media release, ―Touristslearn about close-knit family relationships, enjoy sumptuous home-cookedfood and discover the simple lifestyle in the kampung,” besides ―a chance toexperience the daily life outside of bustling capital cities and puts touristscloser to our natural assets, the culture and friendly people of Malaysia.‖Homestays, according to Dato Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen, went further thanaccomodation per se, ―showcasing Malaysia‘s rich cultural heritage lifestyle ina unique and interesting manner.‖
From as little as RM80 a day, guest will be hosted by a family and share theirmeals and enjoy the daily routines of a kampung life, staying usually intraditional wooden houses on stilts set amidst a pretty landscaped gardenbesides participating in special activities such as jungle trekking, fishing,rubber tapping or handicraft-making. Aiming to increase the participant ofthe rural community in the tourism industry, Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen said, it willenable the locals to generate substantial income and a way to reduce therural-urban migration. ―Through the Homestay programme we will be able topromote and share the national aspiration, which is to increase the spirit ofintegration and unity by promoting intra-cultural interaction,‖ she said.Establishing itself as a safe destination, Malaysia has become a retreat forforeigners to call home. Under ―Malaysia My Second Home‖ (MM2H)programme, foreigners who fulfill certain criteria are allowed to stay inMalaysia on a renewable social visit pass. MM2H initially started out as theSilver Hair programme targeting at attracting senior citizens for a long stay orto retire in Malaysia, using a five-year social visit pass in 1996 under theDepartment of Immigration Malaysia. With the rebrand in 2002, foreigners arewelcome to apply for MM2H, using a 10-year multiple entry social visit passwhich is renewable. Only in 2006, MM2H came under the Ministry of Tourism.Up to November 2007, 1,700 applicants had been approved, mainly fromBritain, Japan and South Korea.According to director of MM2H centre, Siti Nani, the ministry is targeting 3,000approved participants in 2012, up from 2,387 in 2011. ―From the year 2002 until2011, the programme has managed to succcessfully attract 17,389 approvedparticipants, whereby in 2011 alone there were 2,387 appoved applicants,‖she said, adding top participants are from China, Bangladesh, UnitedKingdom, Japan and Iran. A reflection of success of MM2H programme is in terms of placement of fixeddeposit in Malaysian banks since 2002 by approved participants. The successis also being attributed by the expenditure which had clearly contributed toMalaysia‘s economic activities. The expenditure diversify such as intoeducation when the foreigners taking up the programme had to send theirchildren to schools in Malaysia, or at least the use on healthcare servicesavailable in Malaysia‘s hospitals. Interestingly, according to Siti Nani, mostapplicants share a common thoughts when opt to join the MM2Hprogramme. Among the reasons being Malaysia‘s diversity in terms of cultureand its people, apart from the low cost of living, freedom from naturaldisasters and Malaysia‘s relative stable political environment.
Revival of a tourism industry will only succeed with the participation of thelocals. The success of various campaigns and programmes, developed toaccelerate the growth of the country‘s tourism sector, partly falls on themindset of its people. Likewise, Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen calls on ―developing amindset where everybody must ‗think tourism, act tourism.‖In 2010, MOTOUR implemented ―1Malaysia Green 1Malaysia Clean‖campaign which carries the tagline ―Think Tourism, Act Tourism‖ in an effort tofight littering while hoping to change the mindset, habit and attitude ofMalaysians towards cleanliness. Other issues being address under ―ThinkTourism, Act Tourism‖ campaign, include on Dayo Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen‘s call fortaxi drivers as the frontliners in the tourism industry to ―be equipped with basicinformation to share with the tourists as well as understand their role inpromoting tourism.‖In a rather interesting twist, on March, 2012, Malaysia witnessed the unveil of1Malaysia Chopper by the Prime Minister which coincide with the launch of―5-Mountain Motorcycle Tour‖ package. The custom made motorcycle,designed by the American Chopper team from the popular DiscoveryChannel show and presented by its star, Paul Teutel Sr, commemorates thespirit of 1Malaysia as initiated by Najib and highlighting Malaysia‘s harmoniousdiverse culture.The design features Malaysian icons, including the Petronas Twin Tower thatshaped the air intake with an amazing frame splashed with the bright coloursof Jalur Gemilang, the Malaysian flag and hibiscus, the national flower. It wasfeatured in the American Chopper: Senior vs Junior show.Teutel comments on Malaysia‘s ―cultural diversity and its very friendly people‖,according to Salahuddin Mohd Ariffin, the vice-president of Tourism Malaysiaat its New York office were well received and helped provide greater visibilityfor Malaysia as an attractive destination. United States (US) traveller recordeda figure of 119,528, marking 18.9% growth compared to the same period lastyear, second highest behind United Kingdom‘s 196,738 arrivals, amongst the10 long-haul market in the first half of 2012. In 2011, Malaysia received 216,755visitors from the US, generating revenue of about RM730 million, according toTourism Malaysia.Such initiative reflects the industrys innovation in its partnerships, promotions,products and packages, keeping Malaysia fresh as a tourist destination.Through American Chopper and the introduction of the ―5-MountainMotorcycle Tour‖, the government hopes to intensify the promotion of thecountry amongst luxury travellers, besides highlight Malaysia as a new must-see destination for biking enthusiasts overseas to explore.
Najib said, the ―5-Mountain Motorcycle Tour‖ package a good initiative topromote Malaysia as the best motorcycle touring destination in the region,citing ―Malaysia is blessed with natural beauty and I am confident that thepackage will be a hit with foreign bikers due to our scenic routes and warmweather,‖Initiated by Tourism Malaysia, the luxury package covering five beautiful loftyspots — Genting Highlands, Fraser‘s Hill, Cameron Highlands, Gunung Jerai,and Titiwangsa Range — could give riders, especially those from overseas, adifferent experience. For Ng, ―the chopper will be a good publicity tool fortourism and we will use it to market Malaysia as a destination for biking tourswhich has potential in attracting a niche market."David Keen, the CEO of QUO Keen, specialist agency for the travel, tourismand hospitality industries in an interview with The Edge Financial Daily, saidbranding is about forming a multi-dimensional culture that forms the structureof that identity. ―Any brand is only successful if it accurately reflects the truthpresented by the behaviour of its people, natural resources, economic,productivity and political culture,‖ he said.The impact from campaign such as ―Visit Malaysia Year‖ to ―Malaysia, TrulyAsia‖ even the latest edition, ―1Malaysia Chopper‖ go beyond the tourismindustry, even helped the country‘s international profile through many positivecoverage in various credible international media around the world. Spurredby, namely the launch of low cost carrier, AirAsia on December 1st, 2001, plusthe provisions of five working days a week for the public sector since July 1st,2005 which allows people for short break and the intensifed efforts andpromotions under MOTOUR and Tourism Malaysia, has contributed to thegrowth in tourism. While Singaporean make up 50% than overall total of touristarrivals, the industry is seeing an increase on tourists from the Middle East,besides China and India to name a few.Malaysia‘s achievements in tourism have caught the attention, among othersUNTWO‘s secretary-general Taleb Rifai who credited Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yenfor the success. ―I would really like to salute Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen as sheand her team have shown remarkable results in promoting Malaysia,‖ he saidwhile attending the two-day 2012 World Tourism Conference in Kuala Lumpur.Malaysia and China are the only Asian country in the UNTWO top list.The tourism industry has undergone rapid progress since Dato Sri Dr. Ng YenYen appointed minister of Tourism in April 2009. She, as stated in a mediarelease by Tourism Malaysia, is also recognized for fast-trackingimplementation for innovative tourism products such as the 1MalaysiaInternational Shoe Festival. She was also instrumental in leveraging Malaysiaas a luxury tourism destination with her focus on parks and garden tourism, aninitiative that saw Malaysian won gold awards for its garden concept at the
prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London for two years in a row. VisitMalaysia Year 2013/2014 is also under way, to coincide with the celebrationof Golden Jubliee of Sabah and Sarawak insertion into Federation of Malayain 1963.It was an accomplishment, said Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, boosted bygovernment‘s policies aimed at making Malaysia the worlds top touristdestination. Malaysia has travelled a long, hard road to earn the manyaccolades showered on it by the global tourism fraternity which could nothave been achieved without the support of Malaysians who share the samedrive to succeed, she said to the media.Malaysians, however are reminded to be on alert to ensure that the countrymaintains its position as the top tourist destination of choice. ―Hence,everything that comes out from your mouth, you need to think tourism, acttourism,‖ said Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen. ―We have to constantly develop moretourist-friendly products and services to meet the needs and preferences oftourists and must continue to promote Malaysia through our warm MalaysianHospitality,‖Nevertheless, Dato Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen is adamant on the target of 36 milliontouris arrivals by the year 2020 with a revenue of RM168 billion, set in line withthe Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan 2020. Her closing ceremony speecha Malaysia Week in London, themed ―Faces of 1Malaysia‖ says it all as shewas quoted saying: ―As the ninth most visited country in the world for the thirdconsecutive year, Malaysia has cemented its place as a top destination forboth business and leisure.‖ Ambitious or not, but Malaysia, through its tourism ismaking an impact today, and in the future.FACTS & FIGURE:2011 • A release by Tourism Malaysia stated that 2011 tourist arrivals increased by 137,128 to 24,714,324 compared to 24,577,196 in 2010 • Receipts in 2011 increased by RM1.8 billion to RM58.3 billion compared to RM56.5 billion the 20102012 • Malaysia welcomed 11,632,483 tourists arrivals in the first six months of 2012, registering a growth of 2.4% compared to 11,362,86 in 2010. • Tourists receipts from January to June 2012 have also risen by 4.0%, generating RM26.8 billion to the country‘s revenue compared to RM25.7 billion in 2011
Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) • Dato Sabaruddin Chik was the Tourism Minister during the launch of VMY in 1990 and 1994 • VMY 2007 was held during the tenureship of Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor • 2013/2014 is the fourth edition of VMY, helmed by Dato Seri Dr Ng Yen YenCommonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) • CHOGM is a bi-annual meeting between Commonwealth leaders • First held in Singapore in 1971 with recent ones, Perth, Australia in 2012 • CHOGM have been the venues of many of the Commonwealths most dramatic events. Robert Mugabe announced Zimbabwe‘s immediate withdrawal from the Commonwealth at the 2003 CHOGM and Nigeria‘s execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others on the first day of the 1995 CHOGM, led to that countrys suspension • During the 1980s, CHOGM were dominated by calls for the Commonwealth to impose sanctions on South Africa to pressure the country to end apartheid. The division between the United Kingdom during the government of Margaret Thatcher which resisted the call for sanctions. • The departure of Ugandas President Milton Obote to the 1971 CHOGM allowed Idi Amin to overthrow Obotes government. Similarly, President James Mancham‘s attendance of the 1977 CHOGM gave Prime Minister France-Albert René the opportunity to seize power in the Seychelles.American Chopper: • A reality show on custom made chopper or motorcyle • New York-based Orange County Choppers founded by Paul Teutel Sr • Besides Paul Sr, two of his son are also part of the team • 1Malaysia Chopper are a collaboration between Tourism Malaysia‘s New York office and the American Chopper team
Homestay Programme: • A collaboration between Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, respective state governments and the Malaysia Homestay Association • Out of RM858 million allocated for tourism initiatives, RM22 milion is for homestay development, while marketing are included within the Tourism Malaysia‘s promotion for Niche Market and Special Interest Market • Ttourists can opt for package such as the MasWings Adventure Misompuru, a collaboration between the national airline and Misompuru Homestaywhich has attracted 14,912 tourists and generated more than RM700,000 for 42 families, mostly Rungus ethnic from 15 villages in Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu. • In 2010, a total of 3,283 homestay operators from 141 homestays have been trained and licensed throughout the country. • The number of people who opted for homestays had almost doubled from 17,528 in 2010 to 34,578 in 2011, while 2012 recorded an increase by 55% between January and June, compared with the same period last year • The the setting up of its official website, www.go2homestay.com to help provide information, include an official directory of Ministry-registered homestays and assisting in bookings or making enquiries.Zoom! Malaysia Take To The Skies: • ―Zoom! Malaysia‖ took its campaign further to the skies via low-cost airline, AirAsia to stimulate tourism. • Flying 24 million passenger a year, Dato Sri Azalina Othman, the former Tourism Minister hoped by distributing pamphlets and brochures inside the carrier can trigger traveller‘s interest to spend extra days in the country. • Through the ―Zoom! Malaysia Take To The Skies‖ campaign, AirAsia Air Bus A320 flights were seen displaying the ―Zoom! Malaysia‖ logo on carriers plying the domestic and ASEAN countries routes for 18 months.