- 2009/03/23 'Truly Asia' campaign wins top honour

Tourism Malaysia's 'Malaysia Truly Asia' campaign recently won the Gold Award at Berlin's International Tourism Bourse Ė the world's largest and most important annual tourism and travel fair.

The 10-year-old campaign won for its international print advertisement of the country's multi-racial, ethnic and eco-tourism attractions based on its continuing emphasis that the country offers nearly all aspects of Asia in one destination.

To date, the 'Malaysia Truly Asia' campaign has won nearly 30 top international awards and citations for its high-quality TV commercials and print advertisements, and also its marketing effectiveness in helping to increase the annual number of visitors to Malaysia.

The campaign was conceived, developed and nurtured by Malaysia's ISC Group; founded and headed by marketing and advertising veteran Austen Zecha, who himself has been a permanent resident of Malaysia for more than 35 years although he is a Dutch citizen.

"It is so gratifying to note that the 'Malaysia Truly Asia' campaign for this country is not only effective but also continues to be recognised against all others as the most awarded national tourism campaign ever," Zecha said.

"The campaign's basic premise that Malaysia is the melting pot of some of Asia's greatest civilisations Ė the Malays, Chinese and Indians as well as other indigenous groups Ė still holds true and, equally important, that the essence of that is even more relevant in today's chaotic world.

"Also, as portrayed in some of our TV commercials and print ads for the campaign, this country's socio-cultural history reflects the influence of such European cultures as the British, the Dutch and the Portuguese on Malaysia's multi-racial people, landmarks, festivals and cultural expressions," he said.

Last year, the international campaign won the Gold Award for "Asia's Best Long-Term Marketing and Branding Campaign" from the region's leading trade magazine Media in Macau.

That award was in recognition of the campaign's effectiveness in helping Tourism Malaysia to nearly triple the number of annual visitors from 1999 to 2008, and more than quadruple the earnings from tourists for the country's benefit during the same period.

"The campaign's success is not only in its creative quality but even more in its ability to create awareness, interest and most of all, to attract visitors to Malaysia," Zecha said,

He also credited his ISC Group's top strategists and creative people for having given Tourism Malaysia's forerunner, the country's former Tourism Development Corporation, the country's previous multi-award winning 'To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia' international campaign and theme song in the 1980's.

Whilst the former campaign helped to distinguish and differentiate Malaysia against its regional competitors, Zecha said Tourism Malaysia's current 'Malaysia Truly Asia' campaign is helping to place Malaysia as a world tourism destination and one which highlights the essence of the country's unique multi-racial, religious and cultural attractions against all others.

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External sites:

•  www.motour.gov.my
•  www.tourism.gov.my
•  www.tourism-malaysia.com
•  www.virtualmalaysia.com
•  www.mtc.gov.my
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