The new director of Tourism Malaysia’s Sydney office says the destination is placing much more of a focus on its digital presence and “smart partnerships”, as it looks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, Tuan Razali Tuan Omar said Tourism Malaysia’s marketing strategy has shifted heavily to online and social media platforms since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“This gives us a voice to provide on our progressive updates on our destination and travel requirements,” he said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further enhanced the usage of virtual and online platforms [by travellers] not only to dream of their holidays, but ultimately to book their holiday destination.”
While Tourism Malaysia’s marketing activities are reliant on funds allocated by the country’s government, Tuan said the agency is seeking “smart partnerships” post-coronavirus with hotels, state tourism boards and corporate entities to further enhance and add value to its marketing activities.
Like many other destinations, Malaysia’s international and domestic borders are still closed for visitors, and the country has extended its Movement Control Order until 9 June 2020.
Tuan said those living in Malaysia are now allowed to travel within their own states only, and no tourism-related activities are allowed for the time being.
“Currently, we are expecting for progressive government announcements on the stages of easing restrictions for people movement,” he said.
According to Tuan, destinations within Malaysia that are popular among Aussies – Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, and Langkawi – are taking strict measures to assure the safety of visitors once they are allowed to return.
“I believe they will still remain popular with Australians,” he said.
“But, I also believe less-travelled destinations like Terengganu and Kelantan will pick up as the next destinations of choice.