Malaysia - The top 9th ranking in the world
In the recent released World Tourism Rankings in April 2010, Malaysia is ranked No 9 for The top international destinations in 2009. The top in the ranking being France, followed by United State, and Spain. The top Asian ranking is China, at the 4th ranking, followed by Italy, UK, Turkey, Germany, followed by Malaysia, the 9th ranking and the 2nd ranking for Asia. The 10th ranking is Mexico.
I was totally surprised that Malaysia even ranked higher than Thailand, it is an achievement for Malaysia. But Malaysia is not ranked in the top 10th for the international tourism receipts or tourism revenue. That means we have the number of tourist arrivals, but the expenditure of tourists in Malaysia is not relative to its tourist arrivals ranking. Malaysia is not ranked for top 10 countries. The total tourist arrival for Malaysia in 2009 was 23.6 Million, a positive growth rate of 7.2%(2008: 22.1 Million, 2007: 21 million)
In 2008, we are not in the top 10th ranking, mainly because of economic crisis. The tourist arrival for Malaysia in past 5 years however was in positive growth trends since 2000. Congratulation to all people who are in tourism industry.
The World Tourism rankings are compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as part of their World Tourism Barometer publication, which is released three times throughout the year. In the publication World tourism in ranked both by number of visits and by tourism revenue generated.
Who are the top tourism money spenders, they are Germany, United State, United Kingdom, China, France, Italy, Japan,Canada, Russia and Netherlands. These are the countries that the tourism money come from. Our marketing focus should be on the countries. The emerging economies from the BRIC countries Brazil(54%), Russia(26%) and China(22%), are posting the stronger growth among the major spenders, the international tourists arrivals is back to pre-crisis peak level (Oct 2010, UNWTO).
I wonder what is the figure for Penang and Malacca; so that the state government and federal government will put a stop to the verbal war on the statistic of tourist arrivals. Federal Government and State government should work together for the benefit of the people. Past figure is dead, merely data. The action of the government to improve tourism destination and to develop new tourism products in the state are the most important. Penang is suffering from few new tourism products in the state, the state should take the advantage of its position as an island, heritage buildings and food destination to attract tourists. It is a fact that Penang received less expenditure from federal fund compared to Malacca due to political reason, state government being ruled by opposition. But the tourism project is for the future, not for the present. A responsible government will not be short sighted to play politic on the issue.
By not inviting a state Chief Minister or his representative for the function by a federal minister in soft-launch ceremony to unveil the service's new Swiss-made coaches. The action has reflected the friction between the two governments. It was an open show of disrespect to the state of Penang. The state tourism project is not a party project, it is a federal project, the Chief Minister representing people of Penang should be invited. Otherwise it is a disrespect to Penang people, and the Chief Minister. This is protocol which a federal minister should know. An appeal to the government not to play political game on state or people issue....the political inclination should not be a criteria for decision or policy; the main deciding factor should be the people...not political party.
There are work to be done, and need to be done.....we have not done much for Penang, for tourism, for heritage conservation, for product innovation....I hope the politician will stop all the verbal war, and bureaucratic talk...
Despite the figure and the ranking, we are still no done enough, we can do it better. Penang is still not living up to its tourism potential, there is no change on the tourism destination in Penang, we still depended on food tourism, UNESCO Heritage status did not really boost our tourism, as there are many things remained undone. We still need effort to improve further.
Penang should be in tourism world map; a global player in tourism.....
1.RM69mil hill railway to be managed by Penang govt , http://www.thesundaily.com
2. UNWTO World Tourism Barometer ; http://www.unwto.org/facts/eng/barometer.htm