PUTRAJAYA, 14 MAY 2019 – Datuk Musa Yusof, Director General of Tourism Malaysia recently attended the PATA Annual Summit in Cebu, the Philippines, from 9 to 12 May.

Besides attending the summit’s main conference themed “Progress with a Purpose,” Government/Destination Committee Meeting, PATA Board Meeting and PATA Annual General Meeting, he also took part in the UNWTO/ PATA Leaders Debate on 11 May, addressing the topic of “Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 – Industry Innovation and Infrastructure.”

During the debate, Datuk Musa made a point about how infrastructure development was critical towards the sustainability of the tourism industry of a nation and how it could provide economic wealth and job creation for its population.

He said, “UNWTO-stated countries should embrace innovation and technology, adapt advanced digital transformation, and foster new skills development and education to create jobs.”

He added that both industry innovation and infrastructure were important as “half of the world’s population now live in cities, and there are changes in tourists’ behaviours and travel trends, rapid evolution of mass transportation and advances in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).”

Resilient infrastructures would enhance the destination’s image, portray the destination positively and thus influence a person’s cognitive perception towards the destination, before finally luring them for an intentional visit.

He said, “Being innovative in developing infrastructure provides numerous benefits to tourism destinations as well as its visitors. There would be a reduction in pollution, improved productivity, better time management, enhanced visitor experience, ability to obtain big data and create brand positioning and competitive advantage.”

He concluded, “Tourism destinations or countries should be innovative in developing these infrastructure components to sustain the industry and tap the current market trends especially from young travellers or millennials. It certainly can be done by capitalizing on the use of latest technology to reach and attract them to visit the country especially in the Industry Revolution 4.0 era.”