Friday, 25 October 2013

2014 Budget poll: How do we make people visit Malaysia?

KUALA LUMPUR: What is needed to make Malaysia the tourism destination of choice?

A recent online survey by indicated that readers would most likely make a decision on their holiday destination based on the “attractions and activities at the destination” as well as price.

When asked about the reasons one travels to Malaysia, those who responded picked similar criteria: “cheaper budget” and “beautiful and exciting places.”

Many are hoping for these factors to be reflected in the 2014 Budget that will be announced by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak later this afternoon; for the government to focus on making Malaysia a more value-for-money and exciting holiday destination.

In last year’s 2013 Budget, the government had extended an income tax exemption for three years for tour operators who bring in at least 750 foreign tourists or those who handle 1,500 local tourists yearly, a commendable effort.

RM358 million were also allocated to intensify tourism industry in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2013/2014.

In 2013, there were 26.8 million tourists who visited. For next year, the government is targeting a 7.1 percent growth or 28 million tourists, a number which will generate RM76 billion in tourism revenue for Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

Three powerful accelerants are expected to be the government’s focus – tax breaks, increased funding and a broadened tourism campaign.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz had recently asked for an additional allocation of RM300 million in the new budget.

At present, Malaysia is among the 10 most visited places in the world.

Source : Astro Awani