Visit Malaysia Year 20073 more months to go, and it’s Visit Malaysia Year 2007.. I wonder how prepared are Malaysians to show our hospitality? How prepared are we to welcome these new friends?

Malaysia tourism board are doing a decent job promoting the event overseas, I bet we will have decent increment of foreign visitors next year.

However, visit Malaysia 2007 is not just about getting more visitors in 2007, we need to show good things about Malaysia that can attract these visitors to visit Malaysia again, and again.

Also mind that these travellers will go back to their own country to share their travel experience in Malaysia, all the good and bad stuffs. The viral effect of mouth to mouth, or peers to peers are enormous and can easily boost or ruin the attractiveness of Malaysia tourism in both short and long run.

We need to show our best of Malaysia to visitors, especially in 2007. Question again, are we prepared?

I can’t recall any government or tourism board campaign in preparing Malaysians for Visit Malaysia 2007. I kinda admire Singapore’s initiative of their “4 Million Smiles” project for showing friendly hospitality during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group in September. Set aside the effectiveness of their campaign, at least Singapore are doing something for a short term event.

The frontliners to welcome foreign travellers are in transportation. I wonder if our LRT stations will provide enough travel brochurs in different languages? Also will our taxi drivers show more friendly attitude or will rather take advantage on charging higher price for foreigners?

I also wonder if we have enough personnels that can communicate in foreign languages (other than English) in hotels and major travel destination? It’s not a must but wouldn’t it be value adding if travellers who speak Spanish or French can find information and guidance in their own language?

I’ve heard of places in Japan and Korea that have multiple language information counter in major tourist spots. In UK and Europe although they don’t have the personnels, they often provide audio guide in various languages. What do we have in Malaysia?

Do we have enough local well-trained travel guide? One thing that really impressed me during my visit to Europe last year was the professionalism of their local travel guide, they know everything from history, culture, location and local specialties about the specific places. I have a friend that work as tour guide in KL and Melaka, last time I spoke with her she couldn’t tell much history about Kuala Lumpur.

And how about us.. common citizens, how prepared are we? If a foreigner approached you to ask for direction, to what extend will you provide guidance?

There was once when I was confused about the stations and ticketing system in France, and a nice fella helped me to buy the ticket, led me to the right platform and waited for me to board the right train before leaving.. thank you very much. I sure hope we Malaysians are as helpful as that.



2 Responses to “Are we ready for Visit Malaysia Year 2007?”

  1. Malaysia Social and Political Blog » Blog Archive » Haze alert! When will it stop? Says:
    October 4th, 2006 at 10:58 am

    […] Mind that there’s only 3 more months to go for Visit Malaysia Year 2007, the haze are not giving Malaysia tourism any help. Foreign tourist will not likely to take this as a tourist attraction as well. […]

  2. Edward Lu Says:
    November 8th, 2006 at 2:45 am

    PRESS RELEASE
    Kuala Lumpur, 7 November 2006

    Promoting Malaysia through A United Malaysian Public Initiative

    In the only one of its kind people led campaign to promote Malaysia, the soft launch of the Visit Malaysia Cyber Campaign or VMCC held at Mid Valley Megamall on November 3-7, 2006 surpassed the initial target of 10,000 e-Cards sent since the website was developed. As at press time, the total of e-Mails and e-Cards sent out amount to 15,000!

    The VMCC is a people-led campaign, to support Tourism Malaysia’s effort to invite the world to visit Malaysia in 2007 through the usage of e-Mail and e-Cards send out. The official launch of this event will be held at the PIKOM PC Fair from December 1-3, 2006.

    Organised by Rayma Sdn Bhd and supported by Tourism Malaysia, the campaign is designed to allow Malaysians from all walks of life to send as many e-cards as they can, to as many people as they can from all over the world, to invite them to visit Malaysia.

    In order to do so, they will have to get their e-cards from the official http://www.vmcc.com.my website. A tracker mechanism will then track the quantity of e-cards sent out from the website by each individual. Winners will stand to win monthly prizes from VMCC sponsors, namely Reach Publishing (PC.com, Business Today, EPL, Digital Camera & Photography magazines), Acer, Imation and Sonic Gear. These prizes include a year’s subscription to one of Reach Publishing’s magazine of your choice, speakers, thumb drives and other computer peripherals. A grand prize will be held at the end of this year, with winners able to walk home with many great prizes, including a top range Acer notebook! To date, more than 300,000 people visited the VMCC website

    “We believe this is the FIRST of its kind worldwide where citizens play a role to promote one’s country in a unified and concerted effort. We want to demonstrate “People Power” in a different and constructive manner. The aim is to get every Malaysian who has access to email to send messages to as many foreign friends as possible, and make a one-to-one effort to tell others about our country” says Ms Pat Lu, the VMCC initiator.

    VMCC is not a new concept, but has quite an interesting history attached to it. It came about as the brainchild of a number of concerned Malaysians who were affected by the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, exactly 10 years ago. At the time, the KLSE dropped to 262 and the entire local economy was depressed. In an effort to get Malaysia back on its feet, a group of Malaysians got together and decided that the way out was for the people to do something about it. They realised that Malaysia’s biggest asset was the beauty and the splendour of the country itself. They then decided to get the world to visit Malaysia. These Malaysians adhered to the spirit of “Negara Kita, Tanggungjawab Kita” – our country, our responsibility – and got to work to walk the talk to promote Malaysia to the world, to get the economy moving once again. The idea was simple then. To set up a website to send out e-Cards to as many people worldwide as possible. Amazingly enough, support came from all quarters – from the Prime Minister, all the way to the man on the street. From the corporate sector, the media to the schoolchildren, hundreds of thousands of e-cards were sent out.

    For the VMCC 2007, the organisers hope to have a much larger participation from ground events as well as direct participation from visitors to the official website. Pat Lu is grateful to the support she has received from all quarters towards the successful of soft launch of VMCC 2007.

    “Renowned Malaysian Cartoonist Reggie Lee contributed his cartoons to be used as e-Cards. In addition to that, I am happy to note that we have more than 500 registered members actively participating as “VMCC Cyber Warriors” in this campaign nationwide”

    She added that as part of the Malaysian society, we the citizens must take the first initiative to promote the country that we love so dearly. “We cannot expect the government to do everything, we must do our part too. With the country celebrating 50 years of “Merdeka”, it couldn’t have been a better time to help promote Malaysia to the world!” adds Lu.

    “VMCC is a people-led campaign – we need the help of every single Malaysian and everyone who loves Malaysia to make this work. Send an e-card or two everyday! You may think that what you can do is only a drop in the ocean, but as someone famously said, yes – that is true, but if you didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less.”

    The public is encouraged to promote Malaysia by sending the VMCC 2007 e-cards to their friends from all over the world at the official website at http://www.vmcc.com.my

    For more information on how you can support Malaysia through VMCC 2007, please call Pat Lu at (012) 210 4898 or e-mail: info@vmcc.com.my

    Issued by

    Edward Lu
    Vice President
    RAYMA Sdn Bhd
    (016) 363 4922


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