Travel and Tourism - Malaysia - May 2011
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Malaysia has great natural resources, such as beautiful beaches, jungle and some of the best scuba-diving in the world. The predominantly Muslim country is a culturally diverse society where Malays, Chinese and Indians live together. Malaysia offers a wide variety of accommodation, including luxury properties such as those by the Four Seasons, as well as a St Regis in Kuala Lumpur to be opened in 2014.
Unlike its neighbouring countries of Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, Malaysia does not have a distinct image as a tourist destination. The promotional tag line ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’ is used to reflect the cultural diversity of the country. The Malaysian government dedicated 2007 as ‘Visit Malaysia Year’ with the theme ‘Malaysia Welcomes the World’. Tourism Malaysia increased their promotional activities by 30% for that year, compared to 2005. Since 2006, the government has actively promoted domestic and international tourism. The country’s promotion budget has been comparable to the main competitors in the region, Thailand and Singapore. The government was also active in developing and promoting niche tourism products such as medical tourism, educational tourism, rural tourism and home stays. In addition, it developed a special programme for foreigners wishing to stay in the country for an extended period, the ‘Malaysia My Second Home [MM2H] programme’.
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