KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia posted an impressive overall tourism growth in 2012, capping off a string of tourism accolades that placed the nation in the global limelight. Tourist arrivals rose to more than 25 million and tourist receipts climbed to USD 20.2 billion, an increase of 4% compared to 2011.

Under Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), tourism was identified as one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) to drive the nation’s economic growth. Since then, a number of tourism development projects have been put in place in order to achieve 36 million tourist arrivals and USD 60 billion tourism receipts by 2020. One of it is securing Major Events.

In 2012 alone, Malaysia has managed to attract USD 308 million in tourist receipts from tourists visiting Malaysia for major sports, art, lifestyle and entertainment events.

In line with the focus to secure more major events for Malaysia, Malaysia Major Events is the new brand created under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia to be in par with global events bureaus.

Tony Nagamaiah, General Manager of Malaysia Major Events said, “With the re-branding exercise we developed over the year, we are confident that Malaysia Major Events will achieve greater milestones in growing Malaysia as the destination of choice for major events within the Asia Pacific region, where it is expected to contribute USD 0.134 billion in Gross National Income (GNI) and 8,000 temporary jobs to the nation by 2020.”

“With the availability of fully equipped and sophisticated sports facilities and infrastructures, Malaysia is now experienced and has gained wide expertise in organising and hosting various types of sporting events. After hosting international sporting events for more than a decade now, Malaysia has definitely caught global attention,” concluded Mr. Nagamaiah.

Malaysia Major Events will be the catalyst in securing major sporting events bids for Malaysia and aims to do so at the SportAccord Convention 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Malaysia’s presence at the convention further cements its position as home to some of the biggest sports events in the Asia Pacific region such as the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix, MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix, Le Tour de Langkawi; the international leg of PGA TOUR, ATP and WTA tournaments, and the tour destinations of some of the biggest football clubs in the world.