Top Malaysian officials meet with UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and WTTC Chief David Scowsill.
Tourism is rising up the policy agenda in Malaysia as leaders regard it as integral to national economic growth. The industry has been identified among twelve National Key Economic Areas at the centre of Malaysia’s efforts to transform into a high-income nation by 2020.
At UNWTO and WTTC leaders this week, Prime Minster Najib Razak said the economic role of tourism is “crucial”, making specific reference to the principles of sustainability, diversification, and the rejuvenation of mature destinations such as Langkawi and Penang.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai praised the news, saying; “By specifically targeting tourism, the government is providing the sector the support it needs to contribute to Malaysia’s medium-term growth.” Rifai also commended Malaysia Tourism for the success of it destination marketing campaign ‘Malaysia, truly Asia’, adding; “It clearly reflects Malaysia’s status as a microcosm of Asia and the ability of tourism to bring together peoples of different cultures through tourism.”
Currently Tourism contributes to 5% of national GDP and providSe jobs to 13% of the working population.