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Complement not compete, Azalina tells tourism industry

KUALA LUMPUR, 25 Sept 2008: Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said wants the country’s tourism industry players to complement and not compete with each other in selling the various tourism products.

Azalina said that by going into partnerships, as initiated by the ministry, they could avoid such matters as product cannibalism.

“What this means for us is that we need to change our mindset and the way we used to market and brand Malaysia,” she said in her keynote address at the Tourism in Malaysia — the Evolution and the Implication of Tourism Dynamics Forum here today.

Azalina said that as the world grappled with rising oil prices, inflation, increasing cost of operations and the cost of living, travel and tourism would inadvertently be impacted, with certain segments being harder hit than others.

She said the ‘survival of the fittest’ in this evolutionary journey identified the need to establish sustainable plans of action in the various tourism segments and target markets.

“For instance, corporate travel may see a slowdown as corporations scale down on their expenditure, especially in markets such as the United States and Europe.

“It would then make sense for us to concentrate our efforts on markets that are less affected by the economic downturn, such as India, China and the Middle East, and to explore innovative ways to transform opportunities into revenue spinners,” she said.

Azalina added that Malaysia hosted about 14.7 million tourists last month alone and the ministry, together with Tourism Malaysia, was working hard to achieve a target of 22.5 million tourists by the end of this year. — Bernama


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