KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism service providers, such as airlines, hotels, restaurants and theme parks should have promotional offers to attract domestic tourists to generate more traction for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2020 campaign efforts, said Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Datuk Tan Kok Liang.
He said promotions would attract more local tourists and reduce the impact of losses following booking cancellations due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“The profile of local holidaymakers is diverse, and each has a special interest.
“So variety is the key. With good deals from four- and five-star hotels and resorts, Malaysians will patronise them more,” he said.
“Luxury hotels can also offer staycation for residents at rock-bottom rates without disrupting the normal market and through this, holidaymakers will get the best value for their money.”
He said tour operators should be innovative by putting up adventurous and exciting packages by catering to various segments, such as organising “Sunday tours” in every city, taking residents out for a whole-day tour visiting factories and warehouses with demonstration centres or showrooms for shopping.
He said outdoor tours to nearby jungles or farms should be considered as the prices of local fruits, such as durians, had fallen due to the lockdown of major cities in China.
Malaysia received 3.1 million tourists from China last year and 2.94 million the previous year.
The country hoped to receive more than 3.26 million tourists this year, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the first and second quarters this year are expected to be affected.
For the VMY 2020 campaign, Malaysia is targeting 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion in tourist receipts.
Malaysian Bumiputera Association Of Tour And Travel Agents president Mohd Ali Ab Malek said those in the hospitality industry should offer fair promotions to companies that wanted to organise activities for their staff.
He said offers for meetings, seminars or courses at hotels, resorts or shopping centres could draw companies to use their services repeatedly for the whole year.
“For example, if a company has 1,000 staff members, and they send at least 50 each time for a series of a seminar, imagine how much hotels will make if their premises are used.
“This also supports industries like transportation and restaurants as their services will also be required.”
Malaysian Kampung and Homestay Association president Zohaime Muhamad Sori said schools and higher learning institutions in urban areas should hold activities at homestays to give students the “countryside” experience.
This, he said, would not only help homestays generate income, but would also be a great learning experience for students.
“However, the government must also play a role in promoting homestays so that the community-based tourism sector is not left behind, compared with other sectors that shine more.” -- Bernama