Visit Malaysia Year 2020


In the recent Malaysia Budget 2018 announcement on 27th October, the prime minister had officially mentioned that Visit Malaysia Year 2020 was approved and on track for the tourism development of the country. 

With the Budget 2018 news, an infrastructure development fund was allocated with 1 Billion Ringgit Malaysia (US$235 Billion) to prepare for Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

This was a huge amount of money being invested in the tourism sector of Malaysia.

Edit: Unfortunately, the Covid19 pandemic created havoc worldwide and also in Malaysia therefore VisitMalaysia2020 was cancelled by the tourism ministry.

Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY2020)

For the vision of Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY2020), the tourism promotions and development fund of RM500 Million (US$117 Million) were allocated under the Budget 2018.

This brings good news to industry players all over the country. Also in the works was the expansion of the regional eVisa hub to make entry and exit smoother for visitors to Malaysia.

Currently, the eVisa program is available online where an application platform enables foreign nationals to apply for an electronic visa to enter Malaysia in the comfort of your convenience.

The official Visit Malaysia 2020 logo with the tag line Travel-Enjoy-Respect
Update 26th January 2018 - The Tourism Minister of Malaysia made an official announcement at the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum 2018 in Chiang Mai about the Visit Malaysia 2020 Promotion.

The official Visit Malaysia 2020 logo was also unveiled during the event. The minister quoted -
“These next two years are a crucial period for our country’s tourism – they are the lead up to the much-anticipated Visit Malaysia 2020. By then, we expect to welcome some 36 million tourists to our shores with tourist receipts reaching RM168 billion.”
Visit Malaysia 2020 is a landmark initiative that has received the support and endorsement of the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia in 2017. It is a key development towards the realization of the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan goals that by the year 2020, Malaysia will welcome a total of 36 million tourists and register RM168 billion in tourist receipts.
The initiative not only aims to rally all industry players towards this common goal, but is a call to welcome tourists from all over the world to experience Malaysia’s warm hospitality and diverse tourist attractions.
The campaign will be aligned with World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)’s “Travel.Enjoy.Respect” movement launched in August 2017 which calls for tourists to become a catalyst for positive change towards a better future.
The Minister is confident of the success of the campaign, saying that Malaysia’s tourism industry is growing stronger. He cited tourism investments in Malaysia such as international hotel brands Four Seasons, Movenpick, W Hotels by Starwood and DoubleTree by Hilton being made within the next two years, amounting to close to 1,000 rooms.
In addition, new attractions are also being launched to provide tourists more choices of attractions. Desaru Coast, a premium integrated destination resort combining accommodation, golf, theme park, convention centre, leisure, retail and F&B, is expected to open by June this year. It will be bringing in hotel brands such as The Westin, Anantara and Hard Rock Hotel.
Acknowledging the importance of connectivity to facilitate travel, Dato’ Seri Nazri said that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Tourism Malaysia are focusing on increasing accessibility to Malaysia via various airline partnerships for scheduled and charter flights. The Malaysian Government has special incentives for this purpose and Tourism Malaysia is using this to attract international airlines to fly Malaysian routes.
The Minister added, “In the context of ASEAN tourism, Visit Malaysia 2020 also brings with it the opportunity to cross-sell and re-market the region to tourists who are visiting Malaysia. There are ample opportunities for industry stakeholders across the region to work together and benefit as a whole.”
VMY 2020
Some of the spectacular sunsets seen around Malaysia. This photo was taken at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Borneo
For the hotelier's news, tax incentives for new 4 and 5-star hotel investments have been extended by 2 years.

And for tourism industry players, the inclusion of income tax exemption is now extended to 31 December 2020. 

As this news is still fresh off the press, there are no other guidelines available on the Visit Malaysia Year 2020. The numbers should be released probably in 2018. 

In 2017, the target set by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia for visitors to Malaysia in 2017 is 31 Million visitors with tourist receipts of RM114 Billion (US$26.8 Billion). 

In 2016, Malaysia achieved 26.8 Million visitors with a total of RM82.1 Billion (US$19.1 Billion) in receipts.

2020 Visit Malaysia Year
National Parks not only feature rainforest but also incredible sea stacks like this in Bako, Sarawak
New Tourism Products For Malaysia

In 2018, we can see quite a number of new tourism products for Malaysia being launched. One of the most talked-about is the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Genting, which is the first of its kind in the world.

This alone will easily contribute to millions of visitors when it opens its doors in early 2018. Update 2019 - The 20th Century Fox World Theme Park project was cancelled, and a new Genting theme park will replace it. 

Another massive tourism project is also the Desaru Coast project which will open in 2018 in the southeast of Johor.

At this integrated project, the Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark will be one of the highlights here. It is touted to be one of the most modern and largest water parks in the region. 

Other contributing factors at Desaru Coast are four world-class hotels and resorts that are opening, 2 world-class golf courses and a lifestyle and entertainment area called Desaru Coast Riverside. 

Other massive tourism projects include a Jurassic World, Sea World, Ubisoft Theme Park and Langkawi Eco Theme Park which are all in the planning and scheduled to open by 2020. However, nothing solid has come up as these are just news.

Rainforest in Malaysia
There is so much natural rainforest and national parks all over Malaysia
Natural Tourism Resources in Malaysia

While Malaysia is rich with natural tourism sources, I truly hope that the tourism ministry will re-look into promoting nature, outdoors and adventure tourism as there are so many national parks in Malaysia, both Peninsular and also in Sabah and Sarawak. 

I understand that a majority of tourists want popular tourist spots like the Petronas Twin Towers, Putrajaya, Shopping, Batu Caves and so on, but these are the short-stay tourist which only provide numbers.

Malaysia was once known as nature, adventure and eco-tourism destination as we have so many natural resources and tourism spots.

Our national parks are some of the best in the world and also one of the oldest in the world. 

These natural tourism places provide adventure, trekking, hiking, climbing, wildlife watching and even bird watching tourism, which can contribute well to the receipts if managed and promoted well. 

Even for scuba diving tourism, we have some of the best diving spots in the region, and Sipadan Island is one of the top three dive sites in the world.

When wrongly promoted, agents will mass-sell beautiful destinations to fast turn around tourists, and this results in turning away the quality longer staying tourist.

Trust me, I have seen this happen at some of the islands in Malaysia.

Malaysia Commercial Tourism
Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, one of the most popular commercial tourism spots in Malaysia
Commercial Tourism Places in Malaysia

While cross border tourism is the biggest contributor to the tourism arrivals in Malaysia, the rest of the percentage goes to the commercial man-made tourism products. These are usually the shopping malls, theme parks, structures and so on. 

As these places are fully tapped by most travel agents, some of the other agents could spend focus on other places of interest.

And yes, the not so commercial places are lacking in infrastructure and so on. But perhaps the new tourism fund from the Budget 2018 will be allocated to this?

Malaysia River Cruises
River Cruises are one of the natural Eco-Tourism products that can be further promoted
Non-Commercial tourism Places in Malaysia

On a personal note, I would like to see the ministry of tourism pay additional attention to nature, wildlife, outdoors, trekking, hiking, and other non-commercialized tourism products.

Even though they do not generate massive tourism numbers, it would provide an alternative to the genuine tourist who wants to see the real Malaysia. 

As an active travel writer since 2008, I have personally visited and seen many interesting places that would be appealing to tourists who want to experience something different.

However, speaking to the relevant tourism boards, there are always too many red tape issues in developing some of these interesting places. 

I have also been actively scuba diving and bird watching around Malaysia, and see this as one of the potential tourism products that could put Malaysia on the world tourism map.

Again, niche genres like bird watching and scuba diving need more publicity and awareness and also funding to improve the infrastructure of these places. 

Malaysia Birding
Bird Watching is one of the high yield tourism products that can be developed
More To Come

Since the new of this just came out in late October 2017, there will be more to come from me about Visit Malaysia 2020.

There are at least two full years to go before the VMY2020 campaign takes off, and 2019 will be the crucial year for marketing and promotions.

The article here is written by me with my own personal views while they may differ from others.

As a tourism and travel writer over the last 10 years, I have worked for hand in hand with Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board, Sarawak Tourism Board and even Tourism Selangor in the early years too.


Currently, Tourism Malaysia Familiarization trips or Media Fam are not doing the correct job due to non-experience personnel organizing them.

If you keep calling your friends or bloggers who have no experience or ethics, we will never grow our online or digital industry in promoting Malaysia.

For now, this is just the start of VMY2020 and I will be back with updates on Visit Malaysia Year 2020 whenever I get more information. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.
Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.

Post a Comment

Please Select Embedded Mode To Show The Comment System.*

Previous Post Next Post