MALACCA - Four global and economic "megatrends" have been identified to catapult the national tourism industry further.
They are the creation of a global elite; faster pace of life; providing greater convenience; and development of new market leaders.
Speaking at the launch of the RM40bil Malacca Gateway masterplan at Pulau Melaka yesterday, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the industry should adapt to these "megatrends" to cater to the wants of holidaymakers.
The Prime Minister said the creation of a global elite referred to the increasing number of high income or high net worth consumers around the world.
"In this context, the megatrends are of utmost importance for high-end products and high service levels as the demand is growing ever greater," he noted.
The faster pace of life referred to tourists keen on brief holidays at selected destinations as an escapade from city life.
"The megatrends also involve selective spending by tourists. As such, we have to look into providing a wide spectrum of products and packages catering for the low, mid and niche market segments," he said.
Earlier, Najib unveiled the blueprint of the project to be developed over an area spanning more than 246ha of man-made islands overlooking the Straits of Malacca.
It will comprise 15 projects that include a Malaysia Eye, International Fashion Street, sunset beach, cruise shopping gallery, Malacca International Cruise and ferry terminal and gateway terminal.
Najib said the proposed Malacca Gateway, with its luxury offerings of an international cruise jetty and the largest marina in Asia, could play a role in spearheading the "megatrends".
"The country also has excelled in cargo and container ports and it is now time to focus on cruise ports,'' he added.
"We are confident that the success of the Malacca International cruise jetty, which will not only bring in high yield as an international cruise hub but also lead to the opening of other potential cruise port sites in the East Coast and Sabah and Sarawak," he added.
Najib said all stakeholders should also realise that the tourism industry was a major revenue earner as it contributed significantly to the national gross domestic product (GDP).
"A 12.5 per cent revenue from tourism would amount to some RM125bil (S$48 billion)," he said.
"This is based on our GDP in 2013 which is expected to reach over RM1.5tril."