The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is targeting 30 million tourist arrivals by 2020. (NSTP/SHAHNAZ FAZLIE SHAHRIZAL)

GEORGE TOWN: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is targeting 30 million tourist arrivals by 2020.

Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said this would increase the contribution of tourism to the Gross Domestic Product from 14.9 per cent last year, when there were 26.1 million tourist arrivals, to 15.1 per cent.

He said the increase in tourist arrivals proved that tourism promotions had been successful.

“We are now asking for a bigger budget for tourism promotion because it is key to the sustainability of the tourism industry,” he told reporters after flagging off the 2018 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Penang, here, today.

He said there was a need to go all out to promote the country’s tourism industry as there was stiff competition from neighbouring countries.

He urged tourism organisations to use the tagline, Malaysia Truly Asia, in their promotions as it had proved to be effective in wooing tourists.

Bakhtiar said the ministry was working with the Education Ministry to introduce staggered school holiday breaks according to states to distribute the domestic tourist load.