DESTINATION ASEAN – MALAYSIA
The 4th in the series of my travels in the ASEAN Region,
compared to neighboring Singapore, Malaysia is much cheaper, naturally diverse and multi-cultural destination and attracts long haul holiday makers. Vibrant Kuala Lampur is the gateway to the historic, beach, tribal and eco adventure at Malacca, Ipoh, Terengganu, Langkawi Island and off the mainland – Sabah and Sarawak.
The case of Malacca is a lesson learnt on the adverse affect of mass tourism. Once an astounding laid-back historic town now transformed into a city with huge modern shopping complexes, historic sites and old streets, cramped with a tsunami of tourists, stealing the character of Malacca that had once appealed to travelers.
With 25 exhibitors at the TRAVEX, including Sunway Hotels and Resort, the country announced 69 multi-country travel packages featuring ASEAN destinations from 38 travel agents, supporting the promotion of ASEAN as a single destination. Malaysia Tourist arrival stood at 19.39M (January to September 2018) – a decline of 0.3% over the period 2017. www.tourism.gov.my
Though the country has a potential to attract a better share of visitors in the region with some of the attractive tourism products like the gold temples, Bagan and beach tourism, tourism is affected by the country’s political situation and responsible, sensitive travelers avoid traveling to Myanmar. The convener at the ATF 2019 briefing announced the new tourism brand “Myanmar: Be Enchanted”. A member media raised a question as to why (the media) should promote Myanmar tourism with the on-going suppression of Rohingya people? Mayanmar tourist arrival in 2018 was recorded 3.5M, a slight increase over the last years’ arrival. Ten exhibitors participated ATF. www.tourismmyanmar.org,