Nothing says ‘holiday’ quite so satisfyingly as closing your eyes and taking in a deep breath of fresh, clean air. And this is exactly what Malaysia is inviting tourists to do when they visit South East Asia’s favourite tourist destination.
As part of its National Blue Ocean Strategy, Malaysia’s Tourism and Culture Ministry is promoting the country’s fresh air as part of a raft of initiatives to attract international tourists, and help it reach its target of 36 million tourists by 2020.
Says the Ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General (Tourism), Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah, “Our research suggests that many tourists are all too aware that their countries are very polluted. By contrast Malaysian air is very clean, with almost no pollution. So when they visit our country, it’s almost like lung washing for them, and we want to promote this”.
The new initiative comes at a time where many Western countries are increasingly concerned about global warming and growing pollution levels, suggesting that ‘clean air’ is an attractive proposition that will enhance Malaysia’s appeal to international tourists, especially ones from more densely populated regions like as Australia, Europe, and North America.
Pristine air is a feature of many of Malaysia’s most popular tourism destinations including Mount Kinabalu, the Cameron Highlands, Mulu Caves which are located in the country’s dramatic rainforests and mountainous regions, or in places like Palau Redang, Sipadan and Langkawi along its picturesque coastal fringes.
According to Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah, the Tourism and Culture Ministry a number of initiatives are planned as part of Malaysia’s National Blue Ocean Strategy including positioning the country as a preferred location for filming block-buster movies and television dramas, an adventure destination for thrill seekers, and a hub for wellness retreats.