JAKARTA, Indonesia 

Malaysia on Wednesday released its 10-year tourism policy plan, with officials emphasizing the roles of technology and ecotourism in the coming decade, local media reported

Launching the National Tourism Policy (DPN) 2020-2030 online, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would seek to make Malaysia’s tourism firms more competitive, while also encouraging sustainable and inclusive sector development and planning for future disasters.

“Digital technology-based tourism industry development is vital in ensuring that the objective of the policy could be achieved,” Muhyiddin said, according to the Bernama news agency based in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Muhyiddin also underlined that technology could also strengthen ties between industries and pave the way for new innovative sub-sectors that would create business as well as employment opportunities.

“For this, technology-based tourism investment is very much encouraged,” he said.

The premier said that as part of the new tourism policy, Malaysia would create Special Tourism Investment Zones for tourism projects to boost public-private cooperation and attract more local and international investment.

He stressed that the coalition ruling Perikatan Nasional party is also committed to balancing development efforts with preserving national treasures, including the environment, culture, and heritage.

“Our goal is to brand Malaysia as Top of Mind Ecotourism Destination of the World. I also believe that resource sustainability can drive new economic growth and create employment opportunities,” he said.

Muhyiddin said these efforts were in line with Malaysia’s 2030 goals, as well as the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Hence, he said, the strategies in the DPN 2020-2030 would receive full support and cooperation from all stakeholders, especially industry actors, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

According to the prime minister, the country’s tourism industry raked in 240.2 billion ($59.1 billion) Malaysian ringgits, or 15.9% to the GDP and involved 3.6 million workers in 2019.

However, he added that under the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic on tourism activities this year, the sector lost an estimated total of over 100 billion ringgits ($24.6 billion).

The country’s National Economic Action Plan estimates that Malaysia will need at least four years to revive its tourism industry.

“Nevertheless, I believe that, at this stage, we can revive our tourism industry by boosting the domestic tourism activities and enhancing the confidence of the people to travel domestically while the borders are still closed,” added Muhyiddin.

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