Malaysia Sustainable Tourism Recovery project launched in partnership with Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Finance

December 5, 2022





Kuala Lumpur, 5 December 2022: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia today officially launched the Sustainable Tourism Recovery project, followed by a Policy Dialogue, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance.

The Sustainable Tourism project centres on the Government's ambition to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the domestic tourism sector by increasing resilience amongst targeted communities, as well as improving risk-management to mitigate the commodification and potential exploitation of natural and cultural assets. This is consistent with the Ministry of Tourism’s National Tourism Policy (NTP) 2020 – 2030, which advocates inclusivity, sustainability, innovation and digitization in the transformation of Malaysia’s tourism sector.


Ms. Usha Rao-Monari receiving a token at the Sustainable Tourism Exhibition showcase. She is accompanied by YBhg. Datuk Hajah Saraya binti Arbi, Sec-Gen of Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC) and Niloy Banerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore.

As programme lead for the project, UNDP Malaysia will engage communities, tour operators, and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) businesses in select locations, with the aim of increasing awareness on sustainability and improving cohesion among stakeholders. Investment in capacity-building, technical know-how development, and digital innovation will also be carried out with guidance from the Ministry of Tourism. Pilot ecotourism products and services will also be developed for further replication in other locations.

The project will be piloted in three areas, namely: Manjung, Perak; Setiu, Terengganu, and Mersing, Johor. Stakeholders from community, NGO, Civil Sector Organisation, and Government sectors across all three locations were consulted in the co-design of the project.

“Over the past decade, UNDP has embarked on a journey to support governments worldwide by advising on more sustainable local tourism ecosystems, waste management and community livelihoods among others. Together with partners, UNDP advocates for a sustainable balance between tourism-related activities and protecting the environment,” said Ms. Usha Rao-Monari, the United Nations (UN) Under Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator, who officiated the event as part of her two-day country visit to Malaysia.

“As the tourism sector recovers from COVID-19, Malaysia has an opportunity to shift this industry to place it on a more sustainable footing. This pandemic has provided opportunities for our tourism to reset, restart, and reimagine itself as a culturally rich and environmentally sustainable destination in building a “Tourism Nation”. From our natural environment, history, culture, values, heritage, arts and tradition to the nation’s political, societal and economic stability, Malaysia has what it takes to build a prosperous tourism nation. We should think tourism and act responsibly,” said YBhg Datuk Hajah Saraya binti Arbi, Secretary General Ministry of Tourism.



About UNDP Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei Darussalam

UNDP is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.

In Malaysia, UNDP’s technical assistance programmes date from the country’s independence in 1957. For the last 5 decades UNDP’s assistance has been in stride with Malaysia’s own five-year national development plans, strategic agendas and policy priorities encompassing inclusive growth and economic development, poverty eradication, gender empowerment, promoting good governance and anti-corruption, sustainable and resilient development, strengthening renewable energy and energy efficiency approaches, mainstreaming environmental management and protection, rationalising public sector reform, as well as promotion of South-South Cooperation for global development. 

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Lalitha Monisha

Communications Consultant, UNDP Malaysia


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