MALAYSIA – COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE
Situated just north of the equator, covering an area of 330,400 square kilometers, Malaysia is actually made of two land masses: West Malaysia or Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia including Sabahand and Sarawak. Malaysia comprises 13 states, having Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia as neighbors. The various of states offer an incomparable and exiting variety of tropical jungles, warm climate, beautiful beaches, hill resorts. Malaysia experiences diversity in races and in culture. The people of Malaysia include the majority of Malays, Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups. Each racial group retains and nature’s their individual traditions, customs and lifestyle. Malaysian always boasts a friendly smile and the most often heard phrase is “Selanat Datang” simply meaning welcome.
MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD (MTPD)
The establishment of the Tourism Development Corporation Malaysia in 1972 was considered the first step of Malaysia’s tourism. After the remarkable efforts in developing and promoting tourism, the Ministry of Arts Culture and Tourism (MOCAT) was incepted in 1992, is an agency under the MOCAT which officially governs tourism industry. In April 2004, MOCAT was split to separate the ministry responsible solely for matters to relate to tourism. Meanwhile, the MTPB is responsible for the marketing and promotional aspects of tourism. It works in collaboration with local tourist offices and operates many oversea offices. It is said that they are vary effective in obtaining reservation for Malaysia. MTPB vows its mission statement: marketing Malaysia as the destination of excellence and making the tourism industry a major contributor to the socio-economic development of the nation. MTPB has objectives concerning marketing Malaysia as an outstanding tourist attraction, attracting world’ attention to Malaysia’s images that uniquely splendor and beauty of the country, increasing number of tourist arrivals.
Tourism is currently the second highest contributor to Malaysia’ Gross Domestic Product after manufacturing. Malaysia caught up with Singapore and Thailand in term of tourist arrivals and tourism receipts, making it a destination in it own right. Recent, Malaysia tourism experienced mostly increase in number of foreign visitor. From January to September 2004, the number of foreign visitors to Malaysia reaches 11,711,440 increased by 64.5% against the same period last year. Tourist arrivals to Malaysia are increasing rapidly according to Immigration Department. Tourism receipt is total around US$ 2.5billions on average each year. Domestic visitor has also been considerably growing. The tourism industry now is the country’s third largest foreign exchange earner. The MTPB has received a prestigious World Travel Mart Silver Award for its remarkable contribution to regional travel and tourism industry.
Tourism is very sensitive sector. The strategies of tourism development need to match with the strengths and the...