Little things also need to be done to draw in tourists

NEXT year is Visit Malaysia 2020. It will certainly be an excellent way for us to celebrate an important milestone in the development of our country. While we may not yet be deemed “high-income” in economic terms, we can certainly celebrate the notable and praiseworthy achievements of our country, such as our vibrant yet stable democracy, rich and diverse culture and genuinely friendly people.

Many big initiatives have been planned for Visit Malaysia 2020, which include promotions at international tourism trade fairs, improving air connectivity and upgrading our lovely attractions. These plans are expected to yield significant financial rewards (around RM100bil, which is about 10% of the entire country’s annual income).

While all these big projects and macro financial goals are important, we must also ensure that we get the small things right too. Recently, I flew into KLIA2 from an international destination. As I walked from the aircraft to the arrival hall, three observations saddened me.

Firstly, the water dispensers were not working and my thirst went unquenched. Secondly, two travelators were not working and I had to trudge on with my heavy backpack. Finally, the queues for our foreign guests were so long, they reached the entrance of the immigration hall.

While I was lucky to be Malaysian and could use the speedy e-passport lanes, I was certainly not proud to be Malaysian that day.

As Visit Malaysia 2020 draws closer and our big and expensive projects get implemented so that we achieve our important macro targets, let us all at the same time remind ourselves to get the small things done to the best of our ability.

Let’s remember that while it may be the big projects that bring in the important financial benefits, it will be getting the small things done as best as we can which makes us proud to be Malaysian and truly admired by our guests from around the world.


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