Tourism Malaysia plans to cut its offices aboard to reduce operating costs.
It is understood that the offices that might face closure are Stockholm in Sweden, Vancouver (Canada), Phuket (Thailand) and Milan in Italy, said Zulkifly Md, Tourism Malaysia’s Director for International Marketing Division (South Asia/West Asia/Africa).
The plan is to reduce the numbers as well as turn some of the full-fledged offices to just a marketing agency, he told a Malaysian newspaper Bernama.
“We are also looking at appointing General Sales Agents (GSA) to operate in some of the markets. For example, in the eastern part of India,” said Zulkifly.
Among others, a GSA office in Calcutta is currently being worked out.
Appointing GSA’s would help reduce both operating and promotional costs, as it would be on shared basis.
“We will provide the support that is needed. They have to be committed and ensure the partnership works and targets are met,” said Zulkifly.
According to Zulkifly, there were at present 44 offices globally, of which 38 are full-fledged agencies with staff from the headquarters in Malaysia.
“Malaysia has the highest number of tourism offices (globally). Hence, the Public Service Department has asked us to look into the matter,” he added.
Malaysia is one the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. The tourism sector contributes almost 12 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.