It has been confirmed that 2020 will be dedicated to growing the tourism industry in Malaysia with a year dedicated to the industry – and a major “run-up” campaign.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak announced the news during his budget speech on 27th October. In doing so, he dedicated a special budget to tourism for the coming two years.

Last year, Malaysia recorded a total of 26.8 million tourist arrivals and RM82.1 billion tourist receipts. Of this, 400,269 tourists were from the UK market. According to top tour operator Kuoni in its Worldwide Trends Report 2017, Malaysia rose to 10th place (from 14th place in 2016) in the list of most-preferred long-haul holiday destination for UK travellers.

Already, the year 2017 has been designated as the Visit ASEAN Year which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the South East Asian nations’ association. As part of the celebrations, the ASEAN community, which includes Malaysia, has worked together to promote the entire region for intra-regional and inter-regional travel. Many multiple-destinations packages have been developed and promoted to encourage tourists to explore the ASEAN region through nature, shopping, adventure packages and more.

At the recent World Travel Market in London, Malaysia’s Tourism Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz (pictured above) said he would soon be planning events in connection with this major promotion: “I’m looking forward to ITB Berlin in March when we will finalise everything, including planning for the ITB Partner Country 2019.”

“Because of this announcement, I will call a meeting in January next year of all the Ministers in charge of tourism from all the states. We will have a meeting together with Tourism Malaysia in order to lay out the plans in order to achieve success in our Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

The Minister also took time out during WTM in London to speak to CNN’s Richard Quest.


As Asia’s tourism blossoms, the CNN interviewer wanted to know what that meant for regional competition. The Minister discussed the importance of healthy regional competition between ASEAN destinations and spoke about learning from neighbouring countries in a spirit of friendly collaboration between nations.

“It is a healthy competition. In fact, during the ASEAN@50 (campaign to commemorate the 50th year of the founding of ASEAN), we worked together, we campaigned together to feel the warmth and invite tourists to come to ASEAN.”, said Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri.

When asked about the Malaysia Truly Asia campaign, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri said, “Before, people always thought of Malaysia as a single ethnic country. Through the Malaysia Truly Asia campaign, we have shown that we are a nation of multiculture, multi-lingual, multi-racial. It has helped us as a society to become moderate people.”