The Generation Z and Millennials prioritise dream vacations over luxury purchases, said Tourism Malaysia.
Its Senior Director of Domestic and Events Division, Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof said research showed many prefer to book hotels that offer spa and wellness services.
Based on American Express 2023 Global Travel Trends Report, the young travellers plan to spend more on travelling this year than in 2022, he said.
They are keen to choose eco-tourism and eco-friendly travel destinations, he said during the launch of ‘Bah, Mari Pigi Sabah & Labuan Roadshow 2023’ at Management & Science University (MSU) in Shah Alam.
In line with the National Tourism Policy (2020-2030), he said the roadshow aims to preserve Malaysia’s sustainability tourism by embracing digitalisation and fostering innovation through public-private partnerships.
He urged travellers to explore the eco-tourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Lahad Datu and Sandakan, which offers attractions like the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Rainforest Discovery Centre, Turtle Islands Park, Kinabatangan River and Gomantong Caves.
He said Sabah’s community-based tourism (CoBT) has gained international recognition, with several operators receiving prestigious awards, including the ASEAN Tourism Awards.
He attributed the success to the local community’s commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism practices.
The government has allocated RM250 million for the Visit Malaysia Year 2025 campaign, targeting 23.5 million international tourist arrivals and generating revenue of RM76.8 billion.
The roadshow is part of the preparation in promoting community-based and rural tourism destinations, products, and packages in Sabah and Labuan targeting students from higher education institutions and international schools.
Also present at the event included Trecey J Tojuka, Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysia Sabah, Zarinah Amiluddin, Marketing Manager of Sabah Tourism Board and Dean, MUS School of Hospitality & Creative Arts, Dean Azizul Jamaludin and representatives from Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG).