Tourism Malaysia has engaged a list of who’s who in various fields to help promote the country’s tourism and boost its arrivals and receipts. A High Tea Reception was organised today at Carcosa Seri Negara to officially announce and present the credentials to the nine famous personalities who have been selected as Malaysia’s Tourism Advisors.
The Minister of Tourism and Culture Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz personally presented the certificate of appointment to entrepreneurs Tan Sri Syed Mohd Yusof Tun Syed Nasir and Datuk Jeffery Sandragesan, renowned shoes maestro Prof. Datuk Dr. Jimmy Choo OBE, famous 80’s singer Dato’ Sheikh Abdullah Ahmad (better known as Dato’ Shake), multi-award winning entertainer and entrepreneur Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin, famed chef Dato’ Hj Chef Ismail Ahmad, and diving ambassador and conservationist Clement Lee.
Malaysia’s Tourism Advisor also includes a Korean, Datuk Lee Jin Bok. A man of many hats, Datuk Lee can best be described as a bridge connecting South Korea and Malaysia.
The list also includes singer-songwriter Yunalis Mat Zara’ai (better known as Yuna), who was unable to attend the function.
The Tourism Advisor Programme is an initiative by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture through Tourism Malaysia to engage prominent, well-established and influential Malaysians in various fields, either living abroad or in Malaysia, to promote the country among their circle of friends, fans, and network of contacts.
“You can spend millions in advertising and promotions for your business but negative word-of-mouth will eventually bring you down. This is one of the reasons we introduced the Tourism Ambassador Programme back in 2009. Last year, we rebranded it as the Tourism Advisor Programme,” said Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri in his speech.
“We are confident that their role as Tourism Advisor will further enhance Malaysia’s tourism brand overseas and bring great value and meaning to our promotional efforts. We trust that the experience will also be a personally fulfilling and rewarding one for them,” the Tourism and Culture Minister added.
Earlier, the Tourism Advisors had a meeting with the Director General of Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, who gave them an overview of the country’s tourism industry, including its performance, potentials and challenges, as well as Tourism Malaysia’s tourism campaigns, targets, plans, achievements, and events, among others.
The High Tea Reception was also attended by the Chairman of Tourism Malaysia Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen.
The Malaysia’s Tourism Advisor programme is in line with the Government’s objective to drive the tourism industry towards achieving the country’s target of 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts by 2020, as outlined in the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP).
The appointed Tourism Advisors will help promote the country’s tourism based on their respective markets and fields, which include Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, UK, USA, and the South East Asian and European regions, as well as in the fields of entertainment, diving, gastronomy, and luxury tourism.
As Tourism Advisors, they hold the responsibilities of presenting ideas and strategies to build the image of the country. They will speak well of the country and help promote its tourism attractions and services. Tourism Advisors also need to inform their fans, audience, or network of contacts, on the unique selling points of Malaysia and share their experience of being a Malaysian to influence them to visit the country. In addition, the Tourism Advisors will also make special appearances at selected Tourism Malaysia’s events to give credence to the functions and attract more visitors.
From its inception in 2009 until now, a total of fourteen (14) luminaries, each notable personages in their own spheres of influence, have been appointed as Tourism Advisors. These individuals have been carefully selected from a pool of outstanding personalities to help Tourism Malaysia propel the country’s tourism industry to greater heights.