PUTRAJAYA, August 15, 2015 – The Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture through Tourism Malaysia took another step forward in its efforts to promote Malaysia on a global stage by launching the Malaysia 101 Edutourism Packages in conjunction with the Higher Education Week Malaysia (HEWM2015).
This strategic partnership enables the Public Higher Education Institutions to assemble and introduce educational tour packages to the public and the international community so as to provide a more holistic education, in line with the concept “Beyond a Degree”, that will enable them to plan trips in the country.
Deputy Minister of Higher Education Dato Mary Yap Kain Ching said the initiative is an important strategy for developing human capital that is knowledgeable, skilled, creative and innovative in the sectors of tourism and culture, and the introduction of Malaysia 101 Edutourism Packages is part of the government’s efforts to identify and gather products that are available in public universities.
“A university is a centre of infinite knowledge. In order to popularize the university, the Edutourism packages were created so that people are able to experience research and the education system. This package is in line and coincides with Malaysia Festival 2015 where the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is targeting 29.4 million foreign tourists to Malaysia with an estimated revenue of RM89 billion, and 63.7 million domestic tourists who are expected to generate RM43 billion for the country.”
In 2014, Malaysia recorded foreign tourist arrivals at 27.4 million (27,437,315) people, an increase of 6.7% compared to the year 2013, with a total of 25.7 million (25,715,460) people. Total income from foreign tourists for 2014 was RM72 billion, an increase of RM6.56 billion or 10% compared to 2013, which amounted to RM65.44 billion. As of January to March 2015, the number of foreign tourist arrivals to Malaysia is estimated at 6.5 million people compared to 7 million foreign tourists in 2014, a decline of 8.6%.
The number of domestic tourists in 2014 increased by 11.6% to 60.7 million compared with 54.4 million domestic tourists in 2013. The number of domestic tourists expenditure in 2014 amounted to RM41.4 billion, an increase of 16.3% over 2013, with RM35.6 billion.
“I believe the Malaysia 101 Edutourism Packages offered by public universities such as UiTM, UPM, UTM, the UMS, UMT, UNiMAP, UKM, UM UUM can enhance the nation’s edutourism. I also believe that tourism products that are more focused on education has the ability to draw tourists from all over the world,” she said when officiating the launch.
She explained, some of the Edutourism packages launched include Escape To Nature, Smart Little Professor, Endless Discovery, UiTM Dark Tour, Treasure Island, One Day as a Farmer, Chini Dragon Adventure, Green Cycling @ Forest Science and Clinic and Golf Lessons for Beginners. All of the packages were compiled into a book with Universiti Teknologi MARA’s (UiTM) expertise.
“With the launch of Malaysia 101 Edutourism Packages, the Ministry is committed to promoting culture, customs and tourist destinations, in turn fostering a love of science amongst the local and international community. The Malaysia 101 Edutourism Packages will not only benefit the universities and travel agencies, but also local business owners who are expected the reap the benefits from tourists expenditure. Thus, in the first year, we are targeting RM1.5 million from the sales of the packages and an increase of 5 per cent in the following year.”
In an effort to chart the development of the educational tour packages, Tourism Malaysia and 20 local travel agencies had conducted product visits to the 9 universities, while conducting package development workshops at the respective universities. A total of 149 packages was developed and documented in the booklet Malaysia 101 Edutourism Packages.
Tourism Malaysia has also published a brochure with the same concept, entitled Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia 1001 Packages in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014, which resulted in 1030 packages being produced from 297 travel agencies, spanning 35 tourism segmentations. From January 2014 until December 2014, the sales from the packages amounted to RM23 million.
In addition to the launch of Malaysia 101 Edutourism Packages, among other events that were held during the Higher Education Week Malaysia 2015 include HEWM 2015 Fun Run, Varsity Boat Race and Artificial Wall Climbing, Malaysian Islamic Children Fair and UCTC Award Night. The partnership is supported by National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS), University Community Transformation Centre (UCTC) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).