By Rafiq Vayani
KOTA KINABALU: A total of 36 international media from 11 countries are in Malaysia to participate in Mega Familiarisation Programme (Mega Fam) organised by Tourism Malaysia. The programme themed “It’s Summertime in Malaysia in conjunction with PATA Adventure Travel Conference and Mart” is scheduled to be held from 11 to 15 February 2020.
Mega Fam is designed as part of the effort to boost the promotion of Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, which aims to achieve 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion tourist receipts.
During the programme, the group will get a first-hand feel of the attractiveness of Malaysia through various adventure activities, as well as other tourism products such as culture, heritage and ecoadventure. The participants will experience and be exposed to Sabah’s cultural activities at Mari-Mari Cultural Centre, rural tourism products at Tagal Tinopikon Park, white water rafting in Kiulu and Klias River Fireflies Safari Cruise.
This programme aims to show Tourism Malaysia’s commitment to promote Malaysia’s destinations throughout 2020 despite the global pandemic.
“We would like to assure international tourists that Malaysia is taking greater measures in containing the situation that is faced globally,” said the Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Musa Hj. Yusof.
Sabah, home to the Kinabalu Park which is renowned as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, had been chosen as the destination for this Mega Fam programme and PATA Adventure Travel Conference and Mart. The diversity of its culture owing to its 33 ethnicities who speak in different languages offers a truly unique experience especially to those who are not accustomed to a colourful multicultural society. Apart from cultural, nature and adventure destination, Sabah is famous for its exotic marine life that attracts divers and wedding planners from all over the world.
Mega Fam is specially tailored to attract families, single ladies and young travellers to experience Sabah. This is part of the quick-win recovery strategy to build confidence for domestic travellers as well international tourists to travel to Malaysia. International media who participate in this programme are hoped to gain more knowledge about the attractions that Malaysia has to offer and promote Malaysia in their respective countries.
The programme receives a total participation of 36 international media hailing from 11 countries namely Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. Two media representatives from Malaysia are also taking part in the programme.
The Malaysia Mega Familiarisation Programme is one of Tourism Malaysia’s key marketing initiatives. It is organised with the support from local and foreign airlines, Malaysian hotels, state governments, tourism products and shopping complexes. Through this programme, participants are given a personal experience of the myriad attractions, tourist destinations, and products and services in Malaysia and inspire and encourage them to package and write amazing stories on the country as a preferred destination for leisure and business. In 2019, a total of 145 guests from 31 countries participated in seven Malaysia Mega Familiarisation Programmes that generated commercial value estimated to be worth RM12 million.