KUALA LUMPUR: The government will develop the country’s tourism sector to enhance economic growth and increase national revenue this year, said Najib Razak.
The Prime Minister said this was in line with the commitment of the government to give greater focus to the economy to ensure GDP at between 4.0- 4.5% this year.
Najib, who is also the finance minister, said it was necessary for Malaysia to seek other sources of revenue to meet the shortfall of more than RM30 billion from oil revenue following the fall in world crude oil prices.
“If we do not seek other sources of revenue to make up the shortfall from oil revenue, the impact on the people will be very bad,” he said in his latest post on his blog, www.najibrazak.com.
Najib said Malaysia was in an advantageous position in terms of eco-tourism because it had among the world’s most beautiful beaches and tropical forests rich in unique flora and fauna.
He said the government was undertaking more intensive overseas promotion of Malaysian holiday packages.
“With the drop in the value of the ringgit, the cost of holidaying in Malaysia has become less expensive for foreign tourists.
“This has opened up more business opportunities for us. Foreign tourist spending in the country is a form of revenue for our economy.
“Insya Allah (God willing), we will develop the tourism sector to serve as a catalyst for national economic growth at a time when the world economy is uncertain,” he said.