SEPANG, July 22 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today launched the new Visit Malaysia (VM) 2020 campaign logo.
The logo features various recognisable icons of Malaysia such as the hornbill, hibiscus (bunga raya), the wild fern and colours of the Malaysian flag.
Created by Alfred Phua Hong Fook, a 23-year-old graphic designer from Melaka, the logo represents the diversity of Malaysia's culture, heritage, flora and fauna as well as experiences offered as a holiday destination.
His logo was chosen from hundreds of submissions nationwide during the competition period earlier this year.
The new logo is to replace the previous one launched in Chiang Mai, Thailand by former Tourism and Culture minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum last year.
The previous logo, largely criticised for being poorly designed and unprofessional, was modelled after a postage stamp, featuring the Petronas Twin Towers and an orang utan hugging a proboscis monkey and turtle on a beach donning sunglasses, with the tagline "Travel. Enjoy. Respect".
Next year has been designated as Visit Malaysia 2020 with targets of achieving 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion tourist receipts, with focus on ecotourism, arts and culture.
For the campaign's success, Tourism Malaysia has partnered with several private sector corporations namely Sharp (M) Electronics Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Firefly, Malindo Air and Malaysia Airports Holidays Bhd, to implement marketing and promotional activities by utilising their local and global media platforms.
In addition to further strengthen the industry, the government had recently launched the RM5 million Malaysian Tourism Promotion matching grant fund, or GAMELAN Malaysia.
It was aimed at assisting tourism industry players in their international tourism promotion and marketing programmes to increase international tourist arrivals, while boosting domestic tourism.
Last year, Malaysia welcomed 25.8 million international tourists, while for the first five months of this year, international tourist arrivals have reached close to 11 million tourists, recording a growth of 4.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.