198 events lined up for VM2020
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia boasts a list of 198 vibrant, exciting and well-balanced events for tourists from all walks of life in conjunction with this year’s Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign.
Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said VM2020 offers tourists as well as locals a great chance to explore Malaysia at its best, especially its rich cultural heritage and art.
A study by Tourism Malaysia, he said, showed that activities relating to the arts and culture such as heritage walk tours, traditional dance and batik-drawing workshops were much sought after experiences.
“I believe, with global trends pointing towards experiential tourism as a preferred way to travel, tourists today want to experience a destination through its rich cultural heritage and creative expressions of the local community.
“There’s plenty to explore and enjoy. I cannot name all the events but they are all geared towards cultural performances.
“I’m certain that the recent launch of Tourism Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur (KL) Heritage Food Trails package, amongst other exciting new initiatives, will continue to bring more visitors to places such as Kampung Baru, Petaling Street and Brickfields in pursuit of authentic local experiences.
“In Brickfields itself there are many religious houses of worship such as the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple (built in 1894), the Three Teachings Chinese Temple, Sri Kandaswamy Hindu Temple and the Holy Rosary Church with its well-preserved Neo-Gothic style,” he told reporters here today after launching the “VM2020 Happenings@KL Sentral”.
Among the 198 events are the East Coast Craft Textile Festival (Jan 23 - Feb 2) that showcases Batik-painting and Songket-weaving, International Aborigines and Indigenous Arts Festival (Aug 5 - Aug 9), and Malaysian Games Festival (Sept 25 - Sept 27), which showcases traditional games.
Bakhtiar said connectivity and a reliable transportation system might often be overlooked, but it is crucial in ensuring tourists get the most out of their stay.
The KL Sentral Station, he said, is Malaysia’s largest integrated transportation hub and gateway from the airport into the city centre via the KLIA Express.
“Its close proximity to the National Museum and significant historical and cultural sites in Brickfields has spurred the development of the tourism industry in this area, with various types of accommodation from five-star hotels to backpacker hostels.
“ERL is currently working together with RapidKL on a package called the KL TravelPass, which includes airport transfer and two-days unlimited rides on LRT, MRT and KL Monorail lines to better cater to tourists’ travel needs.”
Bakthiar said the high number of transit passengers that KLIA continues to receive, especially for this region, could have a tremendous impact on the tourism industry.
ERL’s VM2020 Happenings@KL Sentral - done in collaboration with the National Department for Culture and Arts - is a twice monthly cultural performance that will showcase Malaysia’s cultural heritage to visitors arriving at KL Sentral, starting today.
“I would like to urge more industry players and operators in the travel and tourism ecosystem to come and join us in ensuring a successful VM2020 campaign,” Bakthiar added.
When asked about the Transit Without Visa (TWOV) facility offered to Indian sub-continental countries citizens, Bakthiar welcomed the initiative by the Home Ministry by saying: “It is the way forward. This is something good for transit passengers.
“They can take advantage of the TWOV and we can offer them some package to tour around KL or Selangor in that 120 hours (five days).”
Meanwhile, ERL chief executive officer Noormah Noor said ERL will play its part to promote Malaysia as a preferred destination, and work together with the ministry, hotels and travel agents to support VM2020 campaign.
Besides cultural performances, ERL is also organising a Monthly KLIA Express Ride & Win Campaign starting Feb 1 in collaboration with the Tourism Ministr
For the complete list of events that covers all states and various traditions and cultures, visit www.malaysia.travel.
Malaysia has set a target to attract 30 million international tourists and generate revenue for the nation.
With a target of RM100 billion income from the country's tourism industry, various programmes have been planned to draw tourists from the main international markets such as China, Japan and the United Kingdom.