Gaya Travel Magazine recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Madam Noorul Ashikin Binti Mohd Din, General Manager of Tourism Selangor to understand her vision on marketing Selangor as a top-of-mind destination.
1. How popular is the state of Selangor as a tourism destination among domestic and foreign tourists? What are Tourism Selangor’s plans to promote Selangor to more domestic and foreign tourists?
In the first quarter of 2018, Selangor received a vast number of tourists compared to the previous year. With the increased percentage of 9.04% of foreign tourist arrivals and 15.16% from domestic tourist arrivals, it is evident that Selangor is a favourite tourism destination. Those who are either already familiar or not yet familiar with Selangor would be pleased to learn that the state has new attractions that are becoming popular with tourists.
Discover Selangor, #TakeMeAnywhere digital campaigns are carried out to introduce and promote various tourism products that are available in the state. We conduct familiarisation tours for media and tourists, including domestic and foreign travel agencies, to promote tourism products directly to key players, travel agencies and the general public, consequently bringing them closer to Selangor’s attractions.
We also published travel brochures such as travel guides, maps, and infographics to provide comprehensive and interesting information about any event or type of tourism that can be experienced in Selangor, among them are the Informative Fun Map of Selangor, Selangor Breakaway directory and Selangor Travel Guide.
To lure international tourists, throughout 2018, Tourism Selangor has participated in several major international travel and tourism exhibitions such as Arab Travel Mart in Dubai, JATA Tourism Expo in Tokyo, South Asia’s leading travel and tourism event SATTE in Delhi, World Travel Mart in London, ASEAN Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai and more to introduce integrated tourism packages and boost foreign tourism promotion programmes to specific target markets.
With the additional promotion campaigns through social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Weibo and WeChat apps, Tourism Selangor are able to attract more international tourists via different tourism segments to visit Selangor.
Tourism Selangor aims for the targeted markets to obtain better understanding and knowledge of the attractions and facilities available in Selangor, hence increase the number of tourist arrivals into the state in the next few years. Familiarisation trips will be continued to widen exposure, enhance opportunities and increase bilateral cooperation with travel agencies and media.
2. What are Selangor‘s current popular spots? Which areas in Selangor should tourists visit in 2018 and beyond? Are there any new spots coming up within Selangor that tourists should know about?
Recently, we received high demand from tourists who want to experience the Blue Mosque in Shah Alam, Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor, Selangor Fruit Valley, Royal Klang Heritage Walk, Rainbow Staircase in Batu Caves, Eco Adventure Activities in Kuala Kubu Bharu, Kajang Heritage Walk, and Tanjung Sepat, among other. We consider these spots as the most popular ones is 2018.
On top of that, ecotourism is also rising in prominence; the public has begun accepting the concept of Leisure Park for agrotourism, therefore demand towards this segment has increased and the facilities have been upgraded. I believe that in 2019, other tourism players will be highlighting new exciting products like Upin & Ipin Theme Park in Sepang district and Major Project for Eco Tourism in Bagan Lalang Beach. For shopping malls, the opening of Central i-City Shopping Centre in Shah Alam is much anticipated, believed to be one of the largest shopping malls in Malaysia.
3. Which Selangor tour packages do you think are popular in 2018 onward? Are there new products and attractions in Selangor that Tourism Selangor actively sells to tourists?
Cruise shipping is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing components within the leisure industry worldwide. It is fast emerging as a new marketable product. We are keen in selling this package by promoting Selangor as the preferred destination for shore excursions to worthy tourist spots and attractions located within an hour’s drive from Port Klang. This includes Royal Klang Heritage Walk, Carey Island, i-City, Sunway City, Shah Alam City Centre and the Blue Mosque in Shah Alam.
Tourism Selangor also works towards positioning Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang as the country’s busiest cruise terminal. The increase of cruise tourism has positively impacted the number of visitor arrivals to Selangor.
4. What are your hopes regarding Selangor tourism industry in the next five years?
Tourism Selangor draws up comprehensive plans to further strengthen the state’s tourism industry every year by closely collaborating with Tourism Malaysia and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia. With the abundance of facilities and attractions, Selangor perfectly meets the needs of all travellers and remains as a leading tourism destination in Malaysia.
We also maintain good relationship with the local tourism industrial players such as travel agencies, airlines and hoteliers. Such strong rapport allows Tourism Selangor to aggressively promote tour packages that feature various destinations within the state and initiate tie-ups with local and international travel agencies to launch special travel packages based on market demand.
“Discover Selangor, Heart of Malaysia” and #TakeMeAnywhere are effective campaigns that increase awareness and market demand towards tourism and travel-related services in Selangor, subsequently creating a benchmark for quality tourism products and services.
Tourism Selangor increases the use of digital marketing in promotional and advertising activities as well to boost Discover Selangor campaign. We hold tourism events too to boost promotion both locally and abroad, including those organised by external organisations, to attract more domestic and international tourists.