Malaysia’s “most developed state” claims to lead the way with post-Covid tourism strategy
The Malaysian state of Selangor has a number of wonderful attractions for visitors. But how has the state’s strategy changed in light of the Covid-19 crisis? We put the question to the Honourable Hee Loy Sian, Chairman of the Standing Committees of Tourism, Environment and Green Technology of Selangor State, and Azrul Shah Bin Mohamad, General Manager of Tourism Selangor.
Hee Loy Sian:Selangor’s position as the most-developed State in Malaysia puts us in a special position. This is especially so when it comes to strategies for building future economic stimulus packages, especially related to tourism, in order to further support the industry and its players in 2021. Tourism Selangor recently introduced a domestic tourism promotional campaigns: “Eager to Travel? Pusing Selangor Dulu!” and “Round Selangor First!” At the same time, targeting international audiences, the “Splendid Selangor, Take Me Anywhere” campaign is geared towards further-positioning Selangor on the global map. We have been running this international campaign on digital platforms and across all of Tourism Selangor’s social media accounts. All the campaigns direct online users to Tourism Selangor’s official and revamped website, Selangor.Travel, the preferred online directory for Selangor tourism.
What new initiatives are being launched?
Azrul Shah Bin Mohamad: Acknowledging the power of digital content, Tourism Selangor will engage in an influencer marketing campaign with Malaysian key opinion leaders later in Q2, 2021. With overwhelming responses received from the first initiative in January, Tourism Selangor is looking into future opportunities to collaborate with more e-commerce and booking engine platforms in 2021, with a focus on boosting tourism in the State and rebuilding the industry. Tourism Selangor is also committed to offering new experiences to travellers, including its latest Selangor’s Virtual Reality Travel Experience. VR videos will feature all of Selangor’s nine Districts, providing extra edge and allowing future travellers to virtually experience Selangor ahead of their travel to the State. We are working on strengthening Selangor’s tourism branding, which in return encourages State development, as well as enhancing infrastructure and tourism facilities.
Photo: The Honourable Hee Loy Sian, Chairman of Standing Committees of Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Orang Asli Affairs of Selangor State, Malaysia
The evolution of Selangor’s source markets
Selangor’s main travel market in Quarter 1, 2021 was of course the domestic market. However, Malaysia is planning to expand its tourism capacity post-Covid by seriously considering the “travel bubble” notion. With recent positive developments concerning Covid-19 vaccines, borders will hopefully open soon – first to Southeast Asian countries, before gradually expanding to other countries with low numbers of Covid-19 cases. This creates an opportunity for Tourism Selangor to keep pace with evolving travel demand and paves the way for the DMO in planning its marketing strategy based on current developments in tourism. During the recovery phase, Tourism Selangor is leveraging all possibilities and opportunities, focusing on ensuring the sustainably of Selangor’s tourism industry players in these tough times.
Tourism Selangor @ ITB Berlin NOW
Tourism Selangor is leveraging ITB Berlin NOW 2021 as a platform to virtually meet potential clients for whom Malaysia is a preferred travel destination, or those merely wishing to find more information on Selangor’s tourism products.
Selangor is also open to collaborating with European media and travel agencies on future Fam Tour plans to Selangor when travel bans have been lifted. The DMO’s participation in ITB Berlin NOW 2021 is a way of giving global exposure to Selangor’s tourism products providing opportunities to the State’s tourism industry players to market their products and travel packages to the international travel sector.