Malaysia's tourism website has been described as a model of e-tourism by a United Nations body.
“One only needs to look at the Government of Malaysia tourist website to appreciate the value and relevance of e-tourism for a modern economy,” United Nations Conference Trade and Development (UNCTAD) secretary-general Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi said yesterday.
He said the superb display of marketing graphics and designs directing visitors immediately to separate portals for consumers and business travellers was excellent.
“Relevant information is available at one’s fingertips. This is the marvel of e-tourism, a dramatic demonstration of the burgeoning partnership between technology and the travel industry,” he said when opening the UNCTAD conference.
The Malaysian tourism website at www. tourism.gov.my gets an average of 12.3 million hits a month.
Dr Supachai said there were still challenges to meet in building e-tourism capacity at regional and local levels in order for local communities to be competitive in a globalised economy.
He said e-tourism was responsible for the Asia-Pacific region becoming one of the fastest-growing areas for international tourist arrivals and the number one destination by 2020.
“E-tourism accounts for a good part of its success,” he said, adding that initiatives to promote and develop e-tourism among the various countries saw countries like Thailand reporting 150,000 hits on its booking websites with more than 1,000 confirmed bookings monthly when they started in 2004.
Similarly, Cambodia’s website saw 230,000 visits and one of its hotels reported that 70% of its revenue were from online bookings. Vietnam’s website attracted 7.5 million users.
Tourism Malaysia - www.tourism.gov.my
Visit Malaysia Cyber Campaign - http://www.vmcc.com.my/