Visa has entered a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) with Tourism Malaysia to support the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) in driving inbound travel and promote Malaysia as a preferred travel destination as Malaysia’s borders reopen today following two years of Covid-19 restrictions.
Prior to the pandemic, Malaysia welcomed 26.1 million tourist arrivals with a total expenditure of RM 86.1 billion in 2019. The top three expenditures consisted of shopping, accommodation and food and beverages, making up RM 61 billion of the tourist receipts for the year 2019.
Visa will be introducing the Visa Preferred Merchant Programme (VPM), which provides Visa cardholders with access to offers for accommodation, air tickets, dining, shopping and medical wellness. This programme will be available for both domestic and international travellers during identified tourist travel seasons through malaysia.travel and visa.com.my websites.
Through this collaboration, Tourism Malaysia and Visa will launch a collaborative domestic travel campaign to promote domestic tourism, aligned under Tourism Malaysia’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026.
Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia said: “The tourism industry has been buzzing with excitement since the announcement of the borders reopening, signalling opportunities for economic recovery. We can begin promotional activities to promote Malaysia as a leading tourist destination. Our collaboration with Visa, leveraging its global network and reach, is the perfect opportunity to provide consumers and merchants with the best offers available to truly experience Malaysia while adhering to SOPs and public health and safety.”
Nancy expressed hope that the strategic partnership would echo the National Tourism Policy, especially in placing Malaysia as a top 10 global tourism destination in terms of both arrivals and receipts.
She revealed that more than 1,000 international tourists are expected to arrive in Malaysia on the first day of the country’s transition to the endemic phase on 1 April. The arrivals will mostly be from Singapore via various international air and land entry points, with several preparations in place to welcome them.
Ng Kong Boon, Visa country manager for Malaysia said: “Visa is excited to extend our partnership with Tourism Malaysia and launch a specially curated ‘Home Away from Home’ campaign. With the reopening of borders, we are looking forward to being a driving force in boosting tourism growth and promoting Malaysia as a tourist destination post-pandemic.
“This is great news for businesses and our loyal cardholders who are eager to travel both domestically and internationally. Visa plans on providing our cardholders with benefits and rewards through our Visa Preferred Merchant programme so they can enjoy seamless travel and payment experiences.”
Visa will also offer Tourism Malaysia access to its data analytics and insights to better understand travellers’ preferences when they enter Malaysia. According to the latest Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 1, consumers are anticipating the rebound of travel as Malaysia begins to transition into an endemic stage.
Findings show that almost six in 10 Malaysians believe they are likely to travel domestically. Twenty per cent of Southeast Asian consumers also say they are most eager to spend on international travel to Covid-safe destinations, especially Singaporeans (40%).