In an all out attempt to achieve the 30-million tourist target next year, Malaysia has launched promotional blitz on social media platforms to attract the adventurous millennial travellers who are more fond of selfies, explore off beaten tracks and fancy international cuisine.

Malaysia seems to have dumped the traditional marketing strategy and realigning its tactic by adopting the powerful social media channels to achieve its “Visit Malaysia 2020” campaign, and hopes to earn an estimated $25 billion in tourist receipts next year.

“In this campaign we are going digitalisation. We will actively promote on [social] media, online, website or facebook. We are working closely with airlines, travel agents from all markets so that they can bring in more tourists to Malaysia.

“We also promoting new destinations so more new generation travellers can experience Malaysian hospitality,” Iskandar Miraza Mohd Yusof, director of corporate communication division of Tourism Malaysia told The Post in Kuala Lumpur.

Foreign journalists attend a familiarisation trip organised by Tourism Malaysia.

The agency has tied up with the Expedia Group to reach out to woo travellers from Japan, Australia and the US and even struck strategic partnership with Sharp which will beam Malaysia’s tourism videos in its 200,000 units of 8K resolution display screens across Asean countries, China, India, Japan and Taiwan.

Malaysia is in an aggressive mode to promote Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign – with “Visit Truly Asia Malaysia 2020” slogan – striving to rival other Asean competitors, like Thailand and the Philippines, who are all hungry for a slice of the growing tourism revenue.

Next year could be tough for the tourism sector. For instance, the number of Chinese travellers, who form the bulk of international travellers across the globe could dip due to China-US trade war and the depreciating renminbei.

The bustling Kuala Lumpur remains a major tourist attraction with its high-end shopping malls.

Some 1.56 million Chinese visited Malaysia from January to June this year .

But Malaysian tourist numbers look steady. In the first six month of this year, tourist arrivals was 13.35 million, a 4.9 per cent growth, compared to 12.73 million in the same period of last year.

Malaysia earned a staggering $10 billion from the bourgeoning tourism sector in the first six months of this year.

Speaking to members of the international media in Kuala Lumpur September 2, Musa Yusof, director general of Tourism Malaysia, said that “strategic initiatives” have been put in place to promote Visit Malaysia 2020.

“To achieve our target, Tourism Malaysia is doubling up efforts for local and international promotions, which we have done since early 2018.

Musa: Strategic initiatives are in place to drive the tourism sector.

“New strategies have been implemented to drive Malaysia’s tourism industry, to position it as one of the country’s leading source of revenue and to contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development.

“As a result of strategic initiatives and other promotional efforts, we managed to record 25.8 million international tourist arrivals with tourist receipts amounting to RM84.1 billion ($20.14 billion last year),” added Musa. The media trip was organsied by Tourism Malaysia from September 2-7.

Asean arrivals continued to dominate the share of tourist arrivals to Malaysia with 70 per cent contribution. The medium-haul market and long-haul market occupied a 21 per cent share and a 9 per cent share respectively.

Top 10 international tourist arrivals for the first half of 2019 were from Singapore, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Brunei, India, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan.

Tourism performance also saw growth in terms of per capita expenditure, rising by 1.9 percent to $748.6 while the average length of stay rose by 0.4 night to 6.2 nightsMusa said: “We have plenty of sunshine and rain all year round.

“And you will indeed discover that Malaysia Turly Asia is not a mere promotional tagline but something very real that Malaysians live and breathe in daily.”