‘Do more to harness potential in tourism’

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has not done enough to tap the vast potential of tourism related business opportunities, according to ACCCIM’s Malaysia’s Business and Economic Conditions Survey.

This was concurred by 78.2% of respondents, while 81% also acknowledged that Malaysia’s tourism is lagging behind its neighbours.

Throughout 2001-2008, tourist arrivals in Malaysia had grown by 4.2% per annum to 25.8 million persons, which was lower compared with Cambodia (14.7% per annum), Vietnam (11.8%), Laos (11.3%), Phillippines (8.4%), Thailand (8.2%), Indonesia (6.8%) and Singapore (5.4%).

The survey found that simplified visa rules, the rollout of e-visas or visa-exemption are crucial to facilitate and ease the entry of travellers and tourists as indicated by 52.7% of respondents. Front-services counters at airports must also be enhanced.

The preferred tourism products indicated by respondents are eco-tourism (78%), followed by culinary tourism (73.4%), cultural tourism (55.6%), recreational tourism (49.5%), agro-tourism (48.8%) and medical tourism (37.7%).

It is proposed that Malaysia organise an annual mega food fiesta in major states, as well as nationwide food hunting tours to drive Malaysia as a food haven.

Niche markets such as medical tourism, education tourism as well as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions industry should be promoted as these are high quality tourism products.

To improve the country’s competitiveness in recapturing higher contribution from tourism, 68.3% of respondents opined that the government should further enhance the effectiveness of tourism promotion, marketing and branding.

It also proposed that a short and simplified course for part-time tour guides be conducted to handle tourists from China as there is a lack of tour guides, particularly Chinese speaking.

Respondents also opined that the Budget 2020 should roll out more tourism-related measures and provide more allocations to support tourism-related activities and development, in facilitating preparations for Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

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PETALING JAYA: SaigonBank Berjaya Securities JSC (SBBS) and Thailand’s KT ZMICO Securities Co Ltd (KTZ) are teaming up to provide corporate advisory services to clients from partner countries.

The collaboration between SBBS and KTZ will provide in-depth corporate services to clients from both countries as well as other countries in the Asean region where their businesses are present.

SBBS is a licensed securities company in Vietnam and is a joint venture between Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd with local Vietnamese partners.

The corporate advisory services to be offered to the companies’ clients include primary market/investment banking, secondary markets and other related services such as cross-border securities brokerage and strategic partnership.

“The objective is to widen the area of business opportunities to allow not only single entry but bilateral entry via Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos. In addition, clients from these countries whom have invested outside of their home countries are better served with the presence of both SBBS and KTZ,” SBBS said in a statement.

The collaboration is expected to result in synergy between the two companies via their strengths in retail brokerage and investment banking experience, while extending services to their clients in the region.

SBBS CEO Josephine Yei Pheck Joo and KTZ chief investment banking officer Wirach Morakotkarn opined that the business borders should not be contained within the existing country.

According to them, the two businesses should capitalise on each other’s presence to widen business borders, using local presence and knowledge to better serve existing clients as well as build its network and branding.

“We are very excited to see the progress and this collaboration marks another great move in the milestones as we are combining both companies’ strengths in talents and resources to give a more comprehensive experience and range of services while reducing competition and cost,” they said in a statement.

The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding in Saigon last week.

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