Use online promotions to attract more tourists to Malaysia: Tourism Minister

KUALA LUMPUR - Social media has become a key tool in telling the world about Malaysia's tourist attractions, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

"If promotions are not done over the social media, you are quite a dinosaur," Dr Ng said at a press conference on the Malaysian International Tourism Bloggers Conference & Awards (MITBCA 2012).

The event, which is organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Malaysia Social Media Chambers, will see a gathering of tourism bloggers and industry players here on May 8 and 9.

Dr Ng said the inaugural Malaysia International Tourism Bloggers Awards would also be held in conjunction with the conference.

Sixteen awards will be presented in categories such as lifestyle, duty-free shopping, travel, food, music, entertainment, destination blogs, micro blogger and tourism blog of the year.

On another matter, Dr Ng rapped those who criticised the RM1.8mil spent by the ministry to set up its Facebook account.

"The RM1.8mil (S$736,966) was used to run six campaigns," she said, adding that although Facebook was free, money was needed for the gifts and prizes given away during the campaigns.

TV host and personality Jojo Struys and cookery show host and chef Anis Nabilah, who are avid bloggers, will be among those speaking at the conference.

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