SINGAPORE, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- 2013 has been a successful year, but with the launch of the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014, Tourism Malaysia Singapore (TM Singapore) has set a new target to achieve 13.2 million tourist arrivals this year.
Its director, Noor Aine Ismail, said: "We managed to achieve 9.47 million tourist arrivals from Singapore for the period of January till September last year, which is a 2.3 per cent growth compared to the same period in the previous year. "Our target arrivals for 2014 is 13.2 million tourists from Singapore," she told Bernama in an interview.
To achieve this, Noor Aine said they would work closely with People's Association to organise programmes in the heartland areas, such as culinary classes and cooking demonstrations involving top chefs from Malaysia. With their wide database of members, she also expressed confidence that they would be able to reach directly the targetted local communities.
During these programmes, Noor Aine said TM Singapore would also highlight the interesting food trails of the different states in Malaysia. She said TM Singapore had successfully initiated an array of activities last year as efforts to continuously attract tourists from Singapore.
To name a few, Noor Aine said the promotion of Malaysia Homestay in the Travel Malaysia Fair in November 2013 was proven a success. "Our homestay participants secured very encouraging bookings from Singaporeans and expatriates who wish to experience a different type of holiday. "Homestay programmes amongst Singaporeans have been made popular after receiving numerous positive coverage by both media and bloggers in Singapore and overseas," she said.
Based on smart partnerships, Noor Aine said TM Singapore had also collaborated with various airlines, such as SilkAir and Firefly, together with consortium of agents, to jointly promote Malaysia through tactical advertising.
Apart from that, she said TM Singapore had also organised a Celebrating 1Malaysia Gala Dinner to welcome VMY 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in September 2013. "This event, hosted by our director-general, Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, was attended by more than 200 members of the travel trade and media," she said.
Elaborating on upcoming programmes, Noor Aine said, TM Singapore would also assist BikersAid Motorcycle Club in their expedition to every state in Peninsular Malaysia, during which they would visit and present donations to selected orphanages or elderly homes. About 300 bikers were expected to participate in the programme.
At the same time, she said TM Singapore would also continue to encourage and drive-up event organisers to explore new destinations for their trips.
"We will continue to organise familiarisation trips for media representatives and popular bloggers to give them a first-hand experience of the different destinations, new and niche tourism attractions and services in Malaysia. "The publicity gain from their articles and their blogs proved to be very impactful," she added.