KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia hopes to triple the tourism industry's contribution to gross national income by 2020 under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the government will persuade the hospitality sector to consider offering more innovative vacations such as home-stays in local villages, alongside traditional hotel holidays.
"The ministry is trying to encourage the creation of an inclusive industry that embraces and integrates all ranges and types of accommodation," she told Oxford Business Group (OBG) in a recent interview.
OBG is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm, which publishes economic and political reports on the markets of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean.
Ng said the expansion of Malaysia's tourism industry would produce significant investment opportunities.
"Figures showed that around 40,000 additional four- to five-star hotel rooms will be needed by 2020," she said.
Ng told OBG Malaysia country director and editorial manager Tatjana Marinko and Daniel Moore that the government hopes to increase the number of international arrivals per year from 23.6 million in 2009 to 35 million by 2020.
She said the airlines could play a key role in Malaysia's plans to expand its tourism sector by adding destinations to their routes and improving connectivity to the country.
"While the country was well served with a world-class airport, it would undoubtedly benefit from improved domestic and international connectivity," Ng said.
She said tourism infrastructure is mainly related to accessibility whether it be by air, ground or maritime, there must be good connectivity, ease of access and a certain standard for accessibility where physical infrastructure is concerned.