This week we caught up with the director of Tourism Malaysia Sydney Baizuri Baharum to discuss everything from how much she loves life Down Under to her favourite cooking show!
Travel Weekly: What’s your main goal for this year?
Baizuri Baharum: To achieve and exceed the target of tourist arrivals from Australia to Malaysia which is 273k. I’m very confident that with support from the trade industry partners and media in Australia like Travel Weekly, we can achieve the target together. I’d also like to introduce the less-known spots and hidden gems of Malaysia for Australians to experience.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the travel industry?
To get to know and work with many people around the world and get a chance to visit other countries. I also like the fact that I can apply my creativity, ideas and knowledge to develop effective marketing and promotional plans for Malaysia to make it one of the preferred holiday destinations in the world.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love cooking, watching sports, tv programs and exercising; I enjoy jogging and brisk walking around the city; and I love Sydney Hyde Park – it is beautiful and scenic. I’m looking forward to watching an Australian Netball game as I love the Australian Netball team.
Have you managed to travel (domestically or internationally) in 2023?
Yes, I did travel domestically within Malaysia quite often as it is not a huge country like Australia. As for international travel, Australia is my first trip in 2023.
What’s your favourite travel company or tourism board, besides the one you work for?
My favourite national tourism boards are those in the ASEAN countries, such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. They have always played an aggressive role in promoting their destination and we also collaborate under the ASEAN umbrella to promote ASEAN destinations to the world.
Besides, Tourism Australia has always got my attention with their aggressive global campaign in the ASEAN region – with their brand awareness via ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ and inviting the World to “Come say G-day”. So I am glad I am here now and can’t wait to say G’day to many Australians.
If you could invite three famous guests (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would you choose?
Robert Pattinson, Princess Diana, and Freddie Mercury.
What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the global pandemic has been ‘controlled’?
All countries bouncing back from the devastating impact of the pandemic. It demonstrates the amazing resilience we as societies possess.
What’s your advice for others in the travel industry on continuing to cope with the global pandemic and its ongoing effects?
The pandemic has undoubtedly affected the way travel is being conducted. It’s important we understand the major changes that have affected the travel industry and plan accordingly.
What book and/or TV show can you not get enough of lately?
I love Getaway, Weekender, and cooking programs like Everyday Gourmet.
If you could pick one destination to fly to tomorrow for one week, where would it be?
Kuala Lumpur! It is the best shopping destination.
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