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Deputy Tourism Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik delivers his speech during the ministry’s Malaysia Media & Industry Appreciation Dinner in Kuala Lumpur. -NSTP/Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture together with Tourism Malaysia are planning to kick off the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign in a big way on Dec 31 with simultaneous celebrations of Christmas Open House, New Year and the launch of Visit Malaysia Year 2020 at Dataran Merdeka.

Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik made the announcement at the ministry’s Malaysia Media & Industry Appreciation Dinner tonight.

“As the clock strikes midnight and the New Year is upon us, we will be heading to various air, land and sea entry points to welcome the arrival of the first tourists to Malaysia in 2020. The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture himself will be at KLIA to welcome a group of tourists arriving on the morning flight," he revealed.

Muhammad Bakhtiar said Malaysians are in for an exciting VMY2020 campaign.

He added that Malaysia plans to welcome 30 million tourists during VMY 2020 and collect RM100 billion receipts to make VMY2020 a resounding success.

“This milestone event has been in the planning for almost two years, with the expectation that it will boost Malaysia’s position and branding as a must-visit tourist destination.

Deputy Tourism Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik mingles with the guests during the ministry’s Malaysia Media & Industry Appreciation Dinner in Kuala Lumpur. -NSTP/Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali

“We should be proud to showcase to visitors from all over the world that Malaysia is a peace-loving nation with multi-cultural society, comprising of more than 200 ethnic communities who have lived in harmony all these years,” he said.

He thanked all the state governments for their support in the ministry's domestic and international promotions and for initiating their own Visit State campaigns to ensure an impactful and successful Visit Malaysia 2020.

Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia Director-General Datuk Musa Yusof said over the first nine months of 2019, Malaysia’s tourism industry performance had shown positive development.

“International tourist arrivals recorded a total of 20,109,203 tourists while tourist expenditure reached RM66.14 billion.

“Visit Malaysia Year 2020 is just around the corner and we are on track to deliver the best Visit Malaysia campaign ever in the history of Malaysia,” he said.

Tourism activities, he said, made a direct contribution totalling RM94.5 billion to the Malaysian economy in 2018. Meanwhile, tourism employment increased to 3.5 million persons in 2018, contributing 23.5 per cent to total employment in Malaysia.

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