LANGKAWI (Sept 12): Tourism development will continue to be given due attention by the Pakatan Harapan-led government in view of the industry's significant contribution to the nation's economy, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.
She said the industry had became the second largest foreign exchange earner for the country with 25.9 million tourist arrivals and RM82.2 billion in tourism revenue last year.
“Tourism’s contribution to the local economy is approximately 15% and it provides employment for some 3.2 million people, making up 22.7 percent of the total employment in Malaysia,” she said when speaking at a welcoming dinner for participants of the Pacific-Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 2018 here.
According to her, the success factors for tourism in Malaysia can be attributed to the country's political stability, world-class facilities, strategic location, diverse attractions and accommodations, favourable currency exchange rates, hospitality and mouth-watering cuisines, among others.
“All these create a conducive environment that encourages not only tourist visits, but also business investments into Malaysia,” she said.
Wan Azizah said the selection of Malaysia as the host for this year's PATA Travel Mart, as well as other international events that it had and would host in the future would provide huge impacts and multiplier effects to the economy.
“In addition, conferences and forums are platforms for knowledge sharing and technology transfers which are infinitely valuable, while trade events such as this encourage industry growth through business opportunities,” she added.
Some 2,500 delegates from 60 countries are taking part in this year's travel mart, which is centred at the Mahsuri International Convention Centre.
Kedah Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi and PATA chairman Dr Chris Bottrill were also present at the reception.