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Quality Not Quantity: Malaysia to Focus on Small Group Tours
05 March 2022 | Written by Chris Alexander

A leading tourism official in Malaysia has stated the government’s intention to focus primarily on small group tours when the country reopens its borders to international tourists – a development that’s expected to be announced this month. The news represents a change in paradigm for one of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations, which has previously judged its own success by the number of arrivals. 

“Mass tourism might not be sustainable at this point in time,” believes Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof, the senior director of Tourism Malaysia. Speaking at a recent event in Putrajaya, called the ‘My Destination Sabah & Labuan Roadshow’, he outlined his vision for the new normal in Malaysia. “We will focus on attracting smaller groups of tourists to comply with standard operating procedures,” said the minister. 

According to Yusof, who is also Tourism Malaysia’s interim deputy director-general (planning), key to this vision of the future will be ‘experiential tourism’. This involves promoting products with a special focus on culture, heritage, cuisine and community-based tourism. By shifting focus to high-quality, sustainable interactions between international visitors and Malaysian tourism providers, the ministry expect to build a better, more sustainable future for the sector. 

The change in rhetoric and planning comes ahead of an expected return to normal tourism operations nationwide. NRC chairman, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently confirmed the Health Ministry (MOH) is in the final stages of preparing the standard operating procedures (SOP) for reopening Malaysia’s borders before presenting its findings to the Cabinet for approval. With restrictions set to be lifted any day now, tourism players are devising new and exciting experiences to dazzle returning foreign visitors. 

Panorama Destination is dedicated to providing travellers with unique and unforgettable travel experiences in Malaysia. Our products focus on the natural wonders, cultural heritage and community spirit that makes this country such a rewarding destination for travel. For small groups embarking on travel adventures in the post-pandemic world, there’s nowhere more magical than Malaysia, and no-one better to guide them than Panorama Destination.  

For a glimpse of the unique encounters we provide to our clients, along with some of our most popular destinations nationwide, read our Travel With Us blog. From KL and Langkawi to Sabah, Penang and Sepilok, this will give you a flavour of what’s on offer in Malaysia.