THE Kuala Lumpur Tourism Master Plan 2015-2025 is expected to spur the capital’s growth as an emerging tourist destination.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said the city was Malaysia’s top generator in tourism spending.

“We are seeing record numbers of visitors growing on a yearly basis and they are spending more time and money to discover the city.

“The overall number of visitors has increased by 18% over the last 10 years,” he said in his speech at the launch of the masterplan at Sasana Kijang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Ahmad Phesal said for the tourism sector to grow, there was a need for a concerted, well-coordinated approach to manage it.

“The masterplan gives guidance to the fledging tourism industry.

“It is a 10-year strategic agenda and action plan that is prepared by experts in both the public and private sectors.

“We want both sectors to be involved to make its implementation a success,” he added.

Ahmad Phesal added that the aim was to articulate the industry’s interests clearly, not only as a guide for the tourism sector itself, but also to explain to others where tourism in the capital city was heading over the next 10 years and what help was required.

He said the plan identified and developed strategic directions and an action plan for the tourism sector to spur both immediate and long-term growth.

“Through the masterplan, we hope to encourage innovation and allow existing tourism operators as well as potential investors to identify business ventures,” he said.

Ahmad Phesal added that a structured approach was undertaken by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants to formulate the masterplan.

“Input and comments from more than 150 stakeholders were obtained through workshops and interviews. Issues, challenges, new opportunities and 200 ideas were identified,” he said.

The masterplan articulates Kuala Lumpur’s vision to be the top destination for exciting and diverse urban experiences delivered through world-class infrastructure and services.

It contains 47 initiatives across 10 tourism segments and enablers including culture, heritage, places of interest, shopping, entertainment, nature and adventure, luxury travel, sports as well as medical and wellness.

The masterplan has identified five key opportunities that can drive growth of the tourism industry in Kuala Lumpur.

They are to fully capture the demand for distinct multicultural experiences, strengthen premier shopping destination position, establish Kuala Lumpur as a nature and adventure tourism destination, enhance the city’s position as the preferred value-for-money business, education and medical destination as well as ensure provision of world class infrastructure and tourism products that are well maintained.

With the implementation of the plan, Kuala Lumpur’s tourism industry has the potential to nearly double the number of foreign tourist arrivals to 16 million and tourism receipts in the city is expected to achieve RM79bil by 2025.

The average length of stay of visitors to Kuala Lumpur is expected to increase from 3.1 nights currently to 5.5 nights in 2025.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who launched the masterplan, said several issues needed to be addressed to attract tourists to the city.

“For example, Chinatown is not Chinatown anymore. It is now filled with Bangladeshi and Nepalese as locals are subletting their business licences to them,” he pointed out.

The masterplan can be viewed at http://www.kltourismmasterplan.com/