Message by H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia


Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh, and a very good morning.


H.E. Mr. Francesco Frangialli, Secretary-General of UN World Tourism Organization

Hon. Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Minister of Tourism Malaysia


Visiting Ministers of Tourism, (From Afghanistan, Brunei, Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Maldives, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua new Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Yemen)

Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Distinguished guests and Speakers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia for inviting me to be a part of this prestigious international event. I am indeed delighted to be here to mark the opening of this conference which I regard as extremely important given the enormous contribution of the tourism industry to the global economy and the various challenges the industry has had to face in recent times.


2. On behalf of the government of Malaysia, let me also express our thanks to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for choosing Malaysia as the host for this global meeting of policy makers, practitioners, experts and enthusiasts of the tourism industry. In particular, I thank Mr. Francesco Frangialli, the Secretary General of UNWTO, for joining us here in Kuala Lumpur, as his presence indeed adds great value and significance to this international conference. I also wish to especially acknowledge Their Excellencies the Ministers of Tourism who have taken the time to be here for this conference, further underscoring the importance of his meeting of minds. Ladies and gentlemen,


3. Tourism has become one of the most important global industries of today. With the increasing ease of travel and fluidity of movement across borders, the tourism industry now stand’s as the world’s biggest export earner and for many countries across the continents it is a key industry that generates enormous foreign exchange earnings and employment. On top of this, tourism has become a catalyst of growth for many nations as it brings in substantial revenues for governments whilst stimulating greater investments in infrastructure which ultimately contributes to overall improved living conditions for the peoples of those countries.


4. It therefore goes without saying that it is in the interest of the entire world to see continuous growth and development in this industry. But tourism, being almost entirely consumer driven, is extremely vulnerable to crises and calamities both natural and man-made, and it is particularly susceptible to the vagaries of the global geo-political environment. It is greatly unfortunate that since the dawn of this new Millennium, we, the people of the world, have become witnesses to some of the worst disasters and life-altering events in recent history.


5. We will always remember and have in the back of our minds dark historical moments like the outbreak of SARS and Avian Influenza, the Asian Tsunami, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of course the terrifying terror attacks like that of the infamous 9/11 in the United States, the Bali bombings in Indonesia, the Madrid train bombing in Spain and the London bombing of 2005. In fact since 9/11 the face of international travel and tourism has changed significantly and drastically.


6. As far as travel and tourism is concerned, many would attest that we are still recovering from those dark moments and their permanent effects are manifest, especially in terms of heightened security at all national entry points and stricter immigration controls in most countries. Geo-political developments and conflicts after those events have also led to a surge in fuel and energy prices which have also adversely affected global travel and tourism.


7. Today, the tourism industry is still seeking workable answers to the questions they began to ask after those adverse events unfolded: How do we move forward, and how do we sustain the growth in tourism in light of such challenges? These are not questions that have simple answers, but what is certain is that tourism players need to keep on trying to find them –perhaps through conferences such as this- in order to be better prepared for future eventualities.


8. It is heartening to note that in spite of the jittery nature of consumers, the tourism industry continues to show resilience as evidenced by its steady upward trajectory. The cumulative number of global tourist arrivals has risen to 842 million in 2006, which translates to an average growth of about 7% per annum over the past five decades. The UNWTO estimates that by 2010, more than 1 billion tourist arrivals will be recorded globally, with the main center of activity being in the Asia Pacific region.


9. To my mind, these numbers indicate that whilst the overall volume of travelers has not substantially declined, there is a clear signal of a shift in demand in the sense that whilst some destinations have seen a reduction in their tourism market share due to consumer concerns, others have seen a marked increase. In other words, geo-political and other factors have triggered massive destination changes among global tourists. As I mentioned earlier, all indications point to the Asia Pacific region as the new focal point for global tourism. Countries in this region, including Malaysia, must take advantage of this emerging trend and maximize their potential as the new mecca of global tourism.


10. Having said that, I must quickly add that this region –South East Asia− is no newcomer to this industry. I’m certain that everyone here is well aware of the great success stories that we have seen in this part of the world, where high profile destinations have been drawing millions of tourists from across the continents for decades.


11. It is in this context that we must learn from each other and leverage from the experiences of one another to enhance our respective tourism sectors. Countries having had greater success must be ready to assist those still developing their industry. This where tourism success stories can help us nurture new shooting stars. It is a competitive business of course. But that’s not to say that we cannot work together to enhance regional growth and to promote global tourism as a whole, the success of which would be beneficial to all.


12. We must be able to work together to identify trends, to understand consumer demands and to share our collective experiences so that we can implement suitable strategies and action plans to enhance tourism. The ASEAN model for the promotion of regional tourism is a good example of this, as can be seen in the ‘Visit ASEAN’ campaign. Indeed, It may well be likely that joint efforts to promote the diversity of the region whilst highlighting the uniqueness of each destination will result in higher numbers of multi-destination travelers within the same region which would represent a win-win situation for all.


13. The challenge for all of us here is not only to obtain a bigger share of the expanding international tourist market but, more importantly, to obtain better returns in terms of tourism revenue for our service providers, without compromising on product quality and service standards for our consumers. This, I believe, is the main area where the convergence of viewpoints and the exchange of ideas are most important to generate new thoughts on how we can collectively improve. Ladies and gentlemen,


14. With regard to Malaysia, I am pleased to share with you that our tourism sector has maintained its position as the second largest foreign exchange earner after manufacturing since the year 2000. In that year we received 10.2 million international arrivals with tourism receipts of USD5.1 billion (RM17.3 billion). Since then the industry has grown substantially and Last year, Malaysia managed to achieve its target of 17.55 million international tourists, with tourism receipts totaling USD10.67 billion (RM36.27 billion). 2006 saw a 6.8% growth rate in tourist arrivals with a13.5% increase in receipts. In terms of employment, it is estimated that this industry accounts for a remarkable 1,344,000 jobs of which 492,320 are direct employment.


15. This year , being Visit Malaysia Year, and the 50th Anniversary of our Nationhood, we hope to do even better. We have set a target of 20.1 million tourist arrivals with expected tourism revenue of USD11.9 billion (RM40.5 billion). It is indeed quite a challenge but I believe that it is a target we would be able to achieve.


16. Hopefully from this conference Malaysia will have the opportunity not only to share our experience but also to learn from others in our quest to meet our goals. As I understand it this three day conference will cover four key areas of tourism namely, sustainable growth, marketing, product development and private-public sector partnerships. I believe this exchange of information, ideas and experiences will further enhance our understanding of the issues and challenges that we must face and the actions to be undertaken in order to achieve the success that we want for our people. Ladies and gentlemen,


17. With quality input from participants from more than 50 countries, I believe this conference will produce the recommendations and conclusions that would be most insightful and enlightening towards enhancing our collective tourism objectives.


18. I believe that there is much to learn from each other and much to gain by working together. I am most hopeful that this conference will pave the way for greater progress and development in this industry and to that end I wish every participant all the very best in your deliberations.


To our foreign guests, I hope you make the most of your visit here and experience the many wonders of Malaysia.


Malaysia welcomes the world and I extend to you a very warm ‘Selamat Datang’.


On that note, it is with great pleasure that I now declare open the World Tourism Conference 2007 in Kuala Lumpur.


Thank you.


Message by H.E. Minister of Tourism, Malaysia


4th JUNE 2007

The Hon. Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
H.E. Francesco Frangialli
Secretary General of UN World Tourism Organisation
Honourable Ministers
Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners
Distinguished Guests and Speakers
Members of the International Media
Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good morning,

On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, let me bid all of you with a warm Selamat Datang (as we say it in Malay) or Welcome to the World Tourism Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

At this juncture, allow me to thank The Honourable Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia for making time to grace this occasion, despite his busy schedule.

Your presence, Dato’ Sri is definitely a testimony of how much importance the Malaysian government puts on the tourism industry. I would also like to thank H.E. Mr. Francesco Frangialli, the Secretary General of UN World Tourism Organisation and all the
distinguished speakers from all over the world for being with us here today. Let me take this opportunity also to express my appreciation to all of you gathered here for your support and time taken to attend this conference.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
It is indeed a great honour for Malaysia to be hosting this great event, and for that I would like to thank UNWTO for having chosen Malaysia as the host for this Conference.

This Conference is being held here in Kuala Lumpur as part of the `Visit Malaysia Year 2007`. This year is a very special year for Malaysia as we celebrate our Golden Anniversary of Independence. In conjunction with this historic milestone, the year 2007 has also been
designated as the ‘Visit Malaysia Year’, thus making it an even more meaningful occasion for everyone. As visitors to Malaysia you will be able to experience and witness the excitement of more than 240 events nationwide featuring 50 mega events and 05 mega events
that have been planned throughout the year.

To our delegates, I hope that in the next few days you will make time to see for yourself the true vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur, often referred to as `The Garden City of Lights` and as `The Vision City`.

Of course, if you could stay longer, you would be able to see more of the beauty of different parts of Malaysia.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen
It is apt that this Conference with the theme “Tourism Success Stories and Shooting Stars” provides the participants with the opportunity to learn about the strategies for success and also learn from our distinguished Speakers about their experience on marketing, product development and partnership.

Therefore, let us sit together for the next two and a half days and learn from each other. This is also a golden opportunity for all of us in the tourism industry who come from different parts of the world to network and to get to know each other better.

With those words, I would like to wish everyone a productive conference and I look forward to meeting you again.

The Time is Now, the Place is Malaysia
Malaysia Welcomes the World
Malaysia Truly Asia
Malaysia The Heart of Asia
Thank You

Inspiring Success Stories ....

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The World's Most Prestigious Tourism Networking Event


H.E. Tourism Ministers, Tourism Planners, Policy Makers, Tourism Experts, Tourism Academicians, Executive Council Members of Tourism NGOs, Tourism Investors & Entrepreneurs, Hoteliers, Tour & Travel Operators, Destination Management Operators, Theme Park Owners, Airline Owners & Executives, Cruise Owners& Executives, Global Distribution Operators, Travel Technology Executives, Members of National, State & Regional Tourism Offices and Tourism Promotion  and tourism leaders from all over the world.


Excellent Networking and Learning Opportunities

The Conference, will provide an exciting and engaging forum for discussion and learning of success stories, current issues, solutions and best practice case studies. There is excellent networking opportunities engaged in vibrant atmosphere. Get to know the Speakers and "who's who" in the world's tourism fraternity.


Definitely not to be missed!

The Conference will present you with a program relevant to any established tourism player who wish to network, share and learn from the leaders of tourism in this decade and a world platform for leaders to establish cooperation and friendship.


The Programme:

  • Opening Ceremony graced by H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and H.E. Secretary General of UNWTO

  • Grand Welcome Dinner hosted by the Government of Malaysia

  • 4 exciting sessions over 2 1/2 conference days

  • 3 networking lunches and 5 tea breaks

  • Selection of well appointed accommodation

  • Airport transfers, hotel transfers and dinner transfer

  • Technical tour of Kuala Lumpur city

We look forward to welcoming you to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for this important and inspirational world tourism event.


Datuk Dr Victor Wee

Secretary General

Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia





Welcome Traditional Music


Conference Hall


Opening Ceremony


Attentive Participants


International Participation


Interview with Dato Dr Victor Wee, Secretary-General,

Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia

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