KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced a series of strategic “Special Tourism Investment Zones” to be located throughout the country under the new National Tourism Policy.
He said specific incentives are being formulated to attract hard infrastructure investments as well as new technology-based investments in the tourism sector.
Speaking at the 5th World Tourism Conference here, he said technological advancements in tourism are expected to push boundaries and open up new opportunities for global growth.
He also said tourism has been affected by the impact of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 on current trends of digitalisation, automation and artificial intelligence.
According to the World Economic Forum’s digital transformation initiatives, he said, digitalisation in tourism is expected to contribute up to US$305 billion through increased profitability by 2025.
It will also generate benefits worth US$700 billion for businesses and society at large, he said.
The prime minister said technological advancements have led consumers to utilise mobile devices and online platforms to access information, arrange, book and plan their vacations.
“Data released by e-Marketer shows that in 2021, travel contracts via mobile devices worldwide will amount to US$108 trillion,” he added.
He said industry stakeholders are venturing even further into digital platforms and social media integration as well as big data analytics to customise tourism experience offerings to specific demographics across the globe.
“As tourists arrivals are forecast to reach 1.8 billion people in 2030, we can foresee a wider base of services being offered beyond the conventional tourism-focused industry.”
This includes medical, filming, adventure sports, content development, religious activities, gaming as well as green