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Visit Malaysia 2026: Tourism Malaysia Outlines Development Plan
03 May 2024 | Written by Chris Alexander

On 30 April, Tourism Malaysia presented their long-awaited action plans for international promotion as part of the Visit Malaysia 2026 campaign. Working closely with industry players, the government intends to attract 35.6 million tourists and generate RM147.1 billion through a series of promotions and development over the next two years. 

According to the latest release from Tourism Malaysia, the VM 2026 roadmap features three core strategies – creating demand, increasing traffic, and prioritising target markets. Key initiatives include a branding and marketing blitz, strategic partnerships for joint promotions/tactical campaigns and market segmentation. 

“Our multipronged VM 2026 strategy provides a comprehensive framework to boost Malaysia’s visibility, enhance destination accessibility and elevate our tourism offerings,” explained YB Dato Sri Tiong King Sing, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Through focused efforts and strategic collaborations, we are confident of achieving our yearly arrivals and target receipts in the run-up to VM 2026,” he added. 

Moving forward, Tourism Malaysia will continue to support growth and create brand awareness of the VM 2026 campaign, by establishing strategic partnerships with airlines, online travel agents (OTAs), and land/sea border operators of neighbouring countries to enhance tourist arrivals. The agency will also lean into its  advertising promotions and influencer marketing, with content creation providing a mix of coverage on digital (70%) and traditional (30%) media platforms.  

Rollout of the campaign will begin in key target markets, which have been prioritised into three tiers. The top level features China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia; the second tier includes South Korea, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United Kingdom; and third-level priorities comprise source markets such as Chinese Taipei and Germany. Emerging markets like Pakistan and Bangladesh are also featured in the plan. 

Tourism Malaysia plans to develop products and travel experiences to fit niche segments like nature-based tourism, experiential tourism, medical & wellness tourism, responsible tourism, luxury, weddings, Muslim-friendly, gastronomy and leisure travel. To refine and execute its VM 2026 strategies, Tourism Malaysia will engage with industry stakeholders and international partners, in a bid to position Malaysia as a top-of-mind destination for travellers in Southeast Asia. 

Malaysia is already on course to meet its VM 2026 targets, and is actually ahead of schedule. In Q1 of 2024 (January to March), the country welcomed 5.8 million foreign arrivals, representing a growth of 32.5% compared to the previous year’s 4.3 million. The top ten markets contributing to this success were Singapore, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Brunei, India, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines. The government is targeting of 27.3 million foreign arrivals in 2024, on the way to welcoming 35 million annual arrivals from international markets in 2026.