On September 27, Malaysia was one with the United Nations World Tourism Organization in celebrating World Tourism Day. With the theme, “Tourism and Community Development,” the annual event aims to “highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value.” Along with Malaysian media, we went to Johor to partake in the worthwhile activities. Read more…
The event at the Mall of Medini in Nusajaya was graced with notable people from the national and Johor state governments, among them YBhg. Datuk Hj. Ab. Ghaffar A. Tambi, the Deputy Secretary General for Culture of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), and Johor Tourism, Trade, and Consumer Affairs State Exco, YB Datuk Tee Siew Kiong. Likewise in attendance were almost 200 members of Voluntourism, an initiative by MOTAC that enjoins the public to be of service in tourism-related activities.
Among the activities that followed the opening were the launch of the Name the Proboscis Monkey Mascot Contest, one of the preludes to the Malaysia Year of Festival 2015. To put simply, the person whose name for the mascot gets chosen will win 5,000 MYR (~70,000 PHP).
We were also led to a tree-planting activity that commemorates MOTAC’s campaign, 1Malaysia Green 1Malaysia Clean (1MG1MC), which underscores the importance of environmental sustainability in tourism, culture, and heritage for both tourists and stakeholders alike.
Afterwards, the officials flagged off some 300 people who were participating in the WTD2014 Treasure Hunt. It was an exciting adventure across Johor’s prime tourist destinations, such as Edu Sports City, Puteri Harbour Nusajaya, and Muzium Layang-Layang.
We likewise went to check out the homestay showcase, wherein representatives from all states were present. Among Malaysia’s top tourism products, homestays have resulted to livelihood, empowerment, and development in local communities.
Throughout the event’s three-day run, the festive mood was set by a handful of activities and exhibits. There were interactive demonstrations of traditional games, such as congkak, batu Seremban, dam aji, and sepak bulu ayam, and pieces from local contemporary artists.
Malaysia’s celebration of World Tourism Day was aimed to create an awareness that tourism pushes people and communities towards holistic development. Throughout the years, the country has successfully done so; it has harnessed the industry to provide jobs for its people and opportunities for its government. Let’s not forget that tourism is Malaysia’s third largest source of income—proof that it is indeed a strong driver of progress.
This year is Visit Malaysia Year 2014 with the theme, “Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia.” Visitors can expect a series of year-long special events and activities. For more updates on VMY 2014, check out tourism.gov.my and like Tara Na Sa Malaysia on Facebook.