KUCHING (October 18): Minister of Tourism, Art and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri has encouraged young people in tourism to contribute ideas to make Malaysia the best ecotourism destination in the world.
“Tell me about you. Your vision, your suggestions, your thoughts, your imagination, your ideas. No idea is a bad idea.
“We would like to inspire the future of the tourism industry based on your idea, your mold, your say. You are the architect of our country,” she said at the opening ceremony. opening of the Youth In Tourism (YIT) 2022 program at the Pullman Hotel here today.
Nancy pointed out that there are still many untapped potentials that can give Malaysia a competitive advantage over other countries.
“From 2009 to 2012, Malaysia was No. 9 in the list of ‘Top 10 Highest Tourist Arrivals in the World’. However, the tourism industry is very competitive and all other countries have learned our strategies and means of promotion. Gradually, our position has now descended to the last ranking of 22.
“Therefore, I want us all to work together and be innovative in bringing out new and more dynamic ideas, in line with current needs and desires, to attract more international tourists to Malaysia,” he said. she stated.
Nancy emphasized that tourism enables creativity and innovation as seen during the pandemic.
“People were forced to stay indoors, and in those circumstances people, especially young people, had a lot of ideas. And it was also during the pandemic that the use of IT took off. This has also resulted in the discovery of hidden gems in rural areas.
“All this has led to new activities and the monetization of local products to generate income for the population,” she said.
Nancy also urged young people to tell stories well and engage in “creative tourism”, as well as to use technology.
“Creative tourism means that we provide opportunities and activities for tourists to learn and experience our culture, or an ‘immersive experience’. With the (tourist) infrastructure provided by the government, like the Sarawak Culture Village here, we need activities that can be implemented with the cooperation of tech-savvy young people who can create good online content.
“Technology is now increasingly sophisticated and complex and is rapidly changing the landscape of the world we know today. For example, we need to learn search engine optimization (SEO), social media algorithms to get the best reach. In other words, we need to make Sarawak and Malaysia go viral with positive things for the world to know about us,” she said.
Some 300 students from higher education institutions, tourism product operators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government officials participated in the first Youth In Tourism forum. The program is expected to be held in Pulau Pinang, Pahang, Johor, Sabah and Kuala Lumpur.
Also present was the Managing Director of Tourism Malaysia Datuk Zainuddin Abdul Wahab.