Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab (left), senior director of managements tourism, Azizah Aziz (2nd left) with senior director of Tencent Open Media Platform, Haohao Xu (4th right) during the Networking Appreciation dinner in Kuala Lumpur. Pic by NUR ADIBAH AHMAD IZAM 

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Malaysia (TM) is confident that the industry will be given priority under the Pakatan Harapan government as it is a major source of foreign exchange for the country.

Its director-general, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, said he was confident that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would not overlook the industry, even though a tourism minister had yet to be appointed.

"As Dr Mahathir developed the tourism industry in Langkawi which attracts 3.5 million tourists now, I am confident that the country's tourism sector will continue to be focused on when a new policy is enacted," he said at the TM Appreciation and Awards Ceremony Dinner involving TM, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Geeko Tech here last night. Present was TM chairman Datuk Dr Siew Ka Wei.

Mirza said TM aimed to attract at least 31.8 million foreign tourists to Malaysia, including eight million from China.

"The tourism industry is progressing in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan due to huge investments and great promotions using digital media platforms to attract tourists," he said.

"This method is also cheaper than conventional techniques."

Mirza said TM was involved in a joint venture with Tencent Holdings, the world's fourth-largest Internet-based company from China, to produce videos on tourism destinations in Malaysia.

He said the videos had been uploaded on the firm's website.

"Their website has more than 700 million browsers. It provides ample space for promoting our tourism destinations among 1.4 billion Chinese," Mirza said. "Their production teams are given the freedom to produce 40 videos according to their own ideas to be broadcast by July."