Domestic tourism: Making a ‘Malaysian flavoured’ informative society

Tourism is a major economic activity for the nation. In fact, more than RM 50 billion is recorded as income for the nation from this sector, which saw more than 24 million visitors expected. No of hotel rooms is for 3 to 5 star hotels are 161,000 and the average occupancy is over 70%. Business is expected to grow steep that in ten years time, the number of visitors is expected to be 36 million.

The Edge report:

Malaysia needs 50% more rooms for more tourist arrivals, says deputy tourism minister

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By Lam Jian Wyn of
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 15:48 Bookmark and Share

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will need to raise the number of hotel rooms in the country by about 50% to cater for a targeted growth in tourist arrivals to 36 million by 2020, said Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit.

“We will look at progression (of tourist arrivals). If we have that number of tourists we will need to build that many rooms,” he told reporters on Wednesday, Mar 30.

Mamit said as at February, there were 1,610 hotels nationwide ranked from 3-stars to 5-stars earlier with a total 161,117 rooms, in his speech earlier before the launch of the InterContinental Hotel Kuala Lumpur, formerly the Nikko Hotel.

In the city alone, there were 236 hotels with 30,000 rooms, he added.

“We hope to have enough rooms… Probably (increase by) about 50% more hotel rooms, but by when (we) don’t know, it depends on investors,” he said.

He had noted that the average occupancy rates for hotels across the countries fell by 1.6% to 59.3% in 2010 from a year ago, venturing that tourists are moving towards homestay programmes.

He pointed out that last year, Malacca had recorded the highest number of tourists without offering a figure.


As the average stay of tourists in Malaysia is longer and the retail spending is also commensurating with the longer stay, the income opportunity is very encouraging. As such, every opportunity to highlight and push forward Malaysian brands and locally developed products and services should be capitalised and maximised.  Regardless, its the government or the private sector initiatives themselves.

A lot to be gained from this growth.

Most of these 3-to-5 star hotels offer Astro channels for the viewing pleasure of their guests and patrons, at no extra charge. Of course, most of the hotels which offered Astro channels go for minimal sprectrum where there is probablytwo to four international news channel, one or two documentary channels, one or two sports channels and one or two cartoon channels on top of the usual free TV channels which include RTM 1, RTM 2, TV3, NTV 7 and probably TV 9.

Some of the higher end luxury hotels offer more international news channels, which include the popular international business networks.

This is important as the guests and patrons of these hotels needed to be updated on what is going on all over the world and it is fashionable to go there popular news network, on top of the internet.

What baffle us is that, why these hotels failed to work with Astro is providing local news network such as Astro Awani and Bernama TV to their guests and patrons. These channels usually comes with minimal Astro package for homes.

It is important for these locally produced news channels be alleviated to the same level as the internal ones such as CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, CCTV, NHK and other popular brands. Particularly for the 3-to-5 star hotels. Even though most of these hotels are part of international chains and brands, it would be an added effort for them to assist in alleviating a locally developed channel especially for their guests. Be it domestic or international, they should be given more choices for being informative.

After all, these hotels could also help to familiarise their international guests with Bahasa Malaysia, in the form of 24 hours news channels where the presentation is short, crisp, accurate and most of all, informative served in the Malaysian flavour at its best. The aspiration of Malaysians from any issues newsworthiness, is presented in the national language.

Ministry of Tourism and Information, Communication and Multimedia should really take serious note of this. Especially when one of these Ministers is bent on promoting more extensive use of Bahasa Malaysia, especially in the commercial and business activities.

If the average occupancy is 70% of 161,000 rooms translate to 112,000 for any given day and an assumption of 40% of these guests and patrons are visitors, then any average day there would be an opening to the probable of 45,000 viewers for the promotion of Malaysian news brands and naturally, Bahasa Malaysia. If a third of them browse through the news channels, then the probable number of viewers for these said channels would be at the neighbourhood of 5.4 million. Imagine the business trickle and multiplying effect from this.

That is a very substantial number to be ignored.

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 23:46  Comments (11)  

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  1. Whenever Iam overseas, apart from the usual CNN, BBC, AL JAZEERA feed, Iam always interested in local news channel irrespective of their political/religious/ideological inclination. It is just fun to watch and give you a different perspective on things. You tend to get some nugget for conversation with the locals too. For example there might be a local festival, accident, scandal etc in an area you are in thats worth checking out or talked about over diner with your host. These kind of news will not make it to CNN.

    I knew many expat and foreign friends who feel the same way.

    So for hotel operator,even if you dont give a hoot about patriotism, nationalism, pride and what not, this can be a feasible business proposition pure and simple. One that is likely to provide you with a competitive advantage in a niche market. Not to mention the kind ROI that may come from a grateful nation/government.

  2. Semut Yang Jauh Kita Nampak , Tersergam Gajah di Hadapan Mata Kita Buta .

    We have to put our hats up together and impute given to Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen , our Tourism Minister and her Deputy Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit. They have efficaciously managed to continue the policies and with their endless contemporary programs , our country is attractively mapped for a right pointer of destination .

    With the recorded revenue of 50 billion is an exhibition of progress marked by sound programs in our hospitality industry . The Malaysia My Second Home , National Water Festival , KL Grand Prix Fest , ecotourism, edutourism , health tourism and many more programs are certainly exceptional . We will see more amelioration under the leadership of Dr Ng Yen Yen and her Ministry .

    By that , we hope the Administration should seriously consider and set ahead its priority that the Tourism industry is in need for more financial bedding . Tapping its economic potentiality not in modicum but to come to be the major revenue earner .

    Multiplying the target revenue from the 46 billion to more than 70 billion in next three years should be the target set by the Ministry to achieve which is not impossible . An additional of 10 billion budget seriously are needed to accommodate the three years axiomatic road map .

    We can hardly imagine , what that 70 billion could do immediately to the multiplication effect of our day to day domestic economy . There be many more happy Malaysians from their hard earning .

  3. Heh, heh – about 50% of the tourists who visited Malaysia last year came from where?

    Spin this, brudder!

    • Sorry, lost my appetite to comment whenever I see this S’pore stooge sillyanon bloke..

    • sillymoron
      The red dot citizens are FOREVER looking at Malaysia for their needs. Read this:

      “SINGAPOREANS could consider living in nursing homes in neighbouring Johor Baru, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan suggested. It would be cheaper, yet be near enough to Singapore for family members to visit and for residents to return for medical care if necessary, he said.

      He told Parliament yesterday that he recently visited a site in Johor Baru where a Singaporean investor was planning to build a 200-bed nursing home.

      He asked the investor about the costs involved, and was stunned at how low they were. He said: ‘It is mind-boggling. The cost of land and construction cost is so low that my cost of putting up just a polyclinic (in Singapore) is probably more than his cost of putting up a 200-bed nursing home (in Johor Baru).

      ‘The monthly cost of keeping a resident in a private nursing home in Singapore, you can stretch it easily to pay at least 2-1/2 months of nursing home care in Johor Baru.’ If any medical problems cropped up, the elderly could be taken back to Singapore by ambulance, he said.”

      If Malaysia is not there to ALLOW the red dot people a chance to ESCAPE the pressure cooker, many mental hospitals will have to be built just to cater to the stress-induced psychological ailments prevalent among the red dot citizens.

      • sillymoron

        the red dot also stole SAND from Malaysia. Read this:

        “RM1bil worth of sand lost

        JOHOR BARU: The Johor Government has incurred heavy losses, believed to be in the region of RM1bil due to sand smuggling along Sungai Johor. The losses were incurred over a period of four years.

        Starprobe was made to understand that an average of five barges that could load up to 4,000 tonnes of sand each headed towards SINGAPORE daily.”

        I think the Sentosa Resorts etc were constructed with Johor’s smuggled sand.

    • sillymoron, read this red dot arrogant demand for Malaysia’s water:

      Look elsewhere for extra water, Singapore told
      Star June 5, 1999 By Harpajan Singh and Mergawati Zulfakarin Kuala Lumpur

      MALAYSIA has asked Singapore to look elsewhere for its future water needs after the republic refused to budge from its demand that Johor double supply to the city state under a new 100-year agreement ending in 2161.

      A Malaysian official said the Malaysian delegation led by Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Abdul Kadir Mohamed told Singapore on May 28 that it should not depend on Johor for such excessive supply as Malaysia needed to protect its own interests.

      “We told them that morally, we are prepared to supply them the same volume of 350 million gallons daily (mgd) they now enjoy but cannot meet their demand for 750mgd in 150 years’ time when we don’t know what our own situation will be.

      “Our rivers may not be as resourceful by then. How can Malaysia commit itself to a quantum? We told them they should source elsewhere, like in Indonesia, or build desalination plants.

      • Just to repost my earlier comment on the topic of sand theft. Let’s be honest here, there are Malaysians responsible who are literally selling away our land and our sand. This was covered by the Star previously. No action taken. Everything above board. Ask yourself why. I have no extraordinary love for Singapore, but, we must clean up our own house first.

        On June 22, 2011 at 12:17 tiredofhypocrites said:

        Hi BD,

        While Mat King Leather is trying to sell off our country to outsiders, others in Malaysia are already doing it….

        Congratulations to our friends in Johor!

        Will anything be done?

        Will the guilty be punished?

        Your guess is as good as mine……is this what the concept of Malaysia Boleh means?

  4. Looking at the 2009 report issued by Tourism Malaysia , in terms of statistics , the bulk of tourists arrivals in terms of numbers were from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei. They made up 78% or abt 21.3 million of the total tourists to Malaysia. However no figures were given in terms of how much they actually spent.

    However there were statistics that indicated Japanese, Chinese and South Korean tourits totalled about 2million . They stayed an average of nights and spent a total of RM 4.6bn.

    Should tourists be considered in terms of numbers or in terms of how much they spend?

    In terms of the Programme ‘ Malaysia My Second Home’ stricter criteria should be placed before a foreigner could qualify for this programme. One has to think of the pressure placed on local amenities and infrastructures where locals have to share with foreigners. Sure, there are not many foreigners who have participated in this programme i.e around 1.000 plus but we have to make sure that it is not abused by foreigners. A deposit that a participant for the Malaysia My Second Home should be say RM5million. This is to ensure that not every Tom, Dick and Harry can easily take Malaysia as their second home. Malaysians must be given priority to the amenities and infrastructures . As it is now, we have to compete with foreign workers and illegal immigrants in the daily use of public transport, public hodpitals and other amenities thus putting pressure on the demand and capacity.

    As for health tourism, just ensure that in trying to attract rich foreigners to receive paid medical treatments in Malaysia, the local resources like doctors, nurses and facilities are not diverted at the expense of the needs of Malaysians in health care and services.

    • Agree. fully with Postgrad. It should be the money spent, not the numbers.

      Hope there is a system of deposit now in place for the My Home category. We don’t want Chong, Ling and Pong overstaying.

      Doesn’t the citizenship rules say those allowed staying here for over 10 years are entitled to citizenship? If so, they would upset the population status quo. As Ban Kim Moon, the UN Secretary General, is wont to say these days, “this is not acceptable”.

  5. Refer to my earlier post. The second paragraph, should read ‘ They stayed an average of 6 nights and spent a total of RM 4.6bn.’

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