Tourism: Duty-free Malaysia goes into $$$Mega Sale mode. Oh yeah

Tourism Minister Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen: “Let us do it together to make 1MYES 2011 a great success.”
Doing the Yen Yen: The official launch of 1Malaysia Year-End Sale (1MYES) 2011 by Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen (2nd from right) and other officials at the Bukit Bintang Dome in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

It’s back! The 1Malaysia Year-End Sale (1MYES) 2011 was officially launched by Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen over the weekend at Bukit Bintang Dome in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

The seven-week long 1MYES carries on until New Year’s day and promises devout shoppers and fashionistas mind-boggling bargain prices and promotions.

“This year we are talking about Malaysia as a duty-free country,” said Dr Ng to the cheers of the invited guests who included journalists and tourists from 13 countries including Australia, Brunei, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore and South Africa.

SALE: Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen: “Let us together to make 1MYES 2011 a great success”

”So please tell the whole world, as of this year we are duty-free!”

“It is government policy to ensure Malaysia is one of the world’s top tourism destinations and we can have that policy because God has blessed us with the most beautiful and safe country. We have no earthquakes, we have no typhoons, we have no volcanoes but we have only beautiful Malaysia with temperature change difference of maximum eight degrees,” pitched the minister.

“We also want to ensure Malaysia is a shopping paradise and we are committed to ensure tourists spend on shopping.”

The launch of 1Malaysia Year-End Sale (1MYES) 2011 was held in this specially-built dome located beside Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Dr Ng said shopping is a lucrative sector of the tourism industry, being the second
biggest tourist expenditure after accommodation. The amount of shopping money tourists hajve brought into Malaysia is increasing every year.

“In 2007 tourists spent RM12.2bil on shopping. In 2008, it went up to RM13.3bil and in 2009 it was RM15.1bil. Last year, tourists spent a staggering RM16.2bil on shopping which constituted 28.7 percent of total receipts of RM56.5bil.

A laser dance spectacular combining dance and laser manipulation.

“By 2020 we hope to receive shopping money of RM50bil.”

She said the 1Malaysia Mega Sales Carnival held from June to September this year was clearly an astonishing success.

Quoting statistics from Mastercard Report, she said the overall spending of Mastercard holders during the sale period was a staggering RM6.75bil. Of that figure, RM6.09bil was spent by Malaysian Mastercard cardholders and the balance of RM663mil by foreign tourists who are Mastercard cardholders among whom Singaporeans were the biggest spenders, at RM112.8mil, followed by Australians (RM99.9mil) and Americans (RM90mil).

“That’s why our shopping complexes are getting bigger and getting world recognition,” exulted Ng.

“Last year tourists spent 27 percent of their expenditure on shopping. In Hong Kong, they spent 57 percent. We want to bring the spending percentage up to 38 percent. It’s a lot. We need more Pavilion, we need more Fahrenheit88, we need more Starhill,” she said reference to the three places of shopping worship located in close proximity to each other in the area.

Models showcase gift items available at Parkson department store in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

She said the country has five entry points for tourism development, among which is the first duty free premium outlet in Johor Bahru, to be opened in December.

“We are also going to transform Bukit Bintang into a world shopping street,” she continued.

Shoppers enjoy the best public services

“We have initiated and successfully established the Bukit Bintang Shopping Council and also provide funding to link up the various walkways from KLCC to Bukit BIntang to shelter shoppers from the sun and rain.

“We are also working very hard on public transportation system so that when shoppers land at KLIA, they can take a train to Bukit Bintang to do shopping and then catch a plane home. I like to see one day Singaporeans would fly-in in the morning and fly back in the evening.

Dr Ng (third from left) and Tourism Malaysia acting director general Haji Azizan Noordin (first from left) pose with foreign journalists and travel agents attending the 1MYES 2011 launch

“Malaysia is a great destination for shopping so, we Malaysians, let’s do it together to make 1MYES a great success.”

Among those present at the launch were Ministry of Tourism secretary general Dr Ong Hong Peng, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board chairman Dr Victor Wee, Tourism Malaysia acting director general Haji Azizan Noordin, and MasterCard Worldwide vice president and senior country manager (Malaysia and Brunei) Jim Cheah.