PUTRAJAYA, APRIL 23 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Malaysia’ s tourism sector continues to maintain its momentum with encouraging and steady performance under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Mohamaddin Ketapi said the country’s tourism industry is on the right track with Malaysia maintaining its record as among the top 10 tourist destinations in the world for 2018.
He said Kuala Lumpur, as well as Singapore, Macau and Shenzen are among the top 10 destinations.
“This shows that Malaysia is on the right track. We are working hard to strengthen the country’s tourism industry to achieve the target in tourist arrival of 30 million people with revenue of RM100 billion in 2020.
“This is in line with the ministry’s aspiration to implement the Visit Malaysia year 2020,” he told a special media conference in conjunction with PH’s first anniversary as a government.
Come May 9, it will be a year since PH formed the government, following its victory in the 14th General Election (GE14), hence ending the 61-year Barisan Nasional (BN) rule.
Mohamaddin said among other achievements by the ministry was the inclusion of Melaka’s art and heritage, Dondang Sayang, in the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) list of intangible cultural heritage.
“This kind of recognition is much sought after, as (a nation) gains an advantage in terms of preservation, protection and opportunities to showcase (its) identity,” he said.
Apart from that, he said, the ministry, through the Heritage Department, had declared 255 items of various categories as national heritage.
He said 149 of the items are the works of the late P. Ramlee, such as his songs and two trophies which he won at the Asia Pacific Film Festival, including in 1964 for the Best Comedy Film, through the film “Madu Tiga”.
“The gazetting of the items as national heritage is capable of giving positive impact, including to generate the country’s economy,” he added.
Mohamaddin said he is satisfied with the achievement of the country’s tourism sector in the wake of the government’s austerity drive to reduce the country’s expenditure.
“We reduce slightly the budge and scope of our spending, especially for advertisement and infrastructure.
“However, it does not affect promotion for Visit Malaysia Year,” he added.
He said the ministry was also in the process of gazetting the Gombak Selangor Quartz Ridge (PKGS) , involving 210 plots of land, as a national heritage site under the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645).
The ministry has submitted documents on the PKGS to the tentative list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) heritage list, for it to be recognised as a world heritage site, he added.