Tourism Malaysia and Mastercard forge smart partnership to elevate Visit Malaysia 2026

March 8, 2024 | Kuala Lumpur
(L-R): Mr. Manoharan Periasamy, Director General, Tourism Malaysia, and YB Tuan Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia with Safdar Khan, Division President, Southeast Asia, Mastercard at the Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) exchange ceremony between Tourism Malaysia and Mastercard.

(L-R): Mr. Manoharan Periasamy, Director General, Tourism Malaysia, and YB Tuan Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia with Safdar Khan, Division President, Southeast Asia, Mastercard at the Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) exchange ceremony between Tourism Malaysia and Mastercard.

Partnership is aimed at boosting tourism and economic development, positioning Malaysia as a key destination in Asia Pacific

Tourism Malaysia and Mastercard have announced a strategic partnership to transform the traveler experience and support outreach efforts in preparation for Visit Malaysia (VM) 2026. The announcement was made during a Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) exchange ceremony today. As part of the MOC, Mastercard will also be named as Tourism Malaysia’s Exclusive Payment Partner, with a strategic focus on enhancing the shopping segment.

The partnership will focus on four areas:

1. Harnessing data insights and analytics: This will tap into Mastercard’s regional Data & Services hub in Kuala Lumpur, as well as its aggregated and anonymized data and analytics platforms, to provide actionable insights on traveler spend patterns, needs and preferences. These insights will benefit travel and tourism authorities, operators and businesses.

2. Digitizing the entire traveler journey: Tourism Malaysia and Mastercard will co-create the Travel Malaysia app, a one-stop solution for travelers. This app will offer personalized travel content and exclusive offers throughout the visitor journey, from itinerary planning and bookings to location-based offers on-the-go. The app is set to launch by 2025.

3. Developing world-class marketing campaigns: Leveraging Mastercard’s global reach and marketing capabilities, both organizations will create and roll out creative, engaging marketing campaigns. The goal is to attract more potential travelers and capture an incremental 8 million arrivals by 2026.

4. Curating exclusive Priceless Experiences and Specials for travelers: Mastercard will introduce its signature Priceless program to Malaysia, offering unique experiences and exceptional offers for travelers. These dedicated and specially curated experiences will reflect Malaysia’s attractive proposition as a one-stop destination to Eat, Play, Shop and Stay, allowing travelers to create unforgettable memories in the country.

YB Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership and its potential long-term impact on the travel and tourism sector and stated: “The esteemed partnership with Mastercard highlights our commitment to harness technology to create a more seamless and innovative travel experience in Malaysia. By using data and insights, we aim to improve visitor satisfaction and continuously innovate to engage with travelers. This collaboration is a significant step towards digitizing Malaysia's travel and tourism sector, providing a hassle-free and enriched experience for visitors exploring our diverse offerings.”

"In 2023, Malaysia welcomed 20.14 million visitors, with tourism receipts reaching RM71.3 billion. Shopping activities constituted 33.9% of total expenditure, contributing to a remarkable RM24.1 billion. With a focus on the shopping segment, we aim to leverage our collaboration with Mastercard to create distinctive experiences, positioning Malaysia as a premier global shopping destination," said Mr. Manoharan Periasamy, Director General of Tourism Malaysia.

"Mastercard is thrilled to partner with Tourism Malaysia in revitalizing and transforming the tourism sector. This strategic collaboration aims to digitize Malaysia’s growing travel industry and position the country as a digital-first destination. With Visit Malaysia 2026 approaching, Mastercard will leverage its global expertise, data insights, and engagement program, Priceless, to support Malaysia’s growth and enhance its appeal as a top travel destination in the Asia Pacific region,” said Mr. Safdar Khan, Division President, Southeast Asia, Mastercard.

The partnership with Tourism Malaysia and Mastercard as the Exclusive Payment Partner is aimed at enhancing the shopping segment, which contributes significantly to the tourism sector’s growth. Leveraging Mastercard’s global presence and international expertise, this collaboration elevates Malaysia’s status as a preferred shopping destination, enriching the retail experience for travelers. The commitment represents a seamless extension and integration of Mastercard’s Priceless program offers, underscoring Tourism Malaysia’s unwavering dedication to delivering unparalleled experiences and value.

In the current year, Malaysia aims to attract 27.3 million international tourist arrivals, with a target of over RM102.7 billion in tourism receipts. Looking ahead to Visit Malaysia 2026 (VM 2026), the country envisions welcoming 35.6 million visitors, generating target receipts of RM147.1 billion. These goals align with Malaysia’s Tourism Strategy 2020-2030, which focuses on enhancing the country’s competitiveness as a top travel destination for international visitors.


Media Contacts

Shazleen Shaik, Mastercard
Nurushama Abdul Hanan, Tourism Malaysia
+603-88918519 |
Muadz Samat, Tourism Malaysia
+6012-3639765 |
Norashikin Nordin, Tourism Malaysia
Sarah Zulkifli, Weber Shandwick (Malaysia)
Amirah Amrang, Weber Shandwick (Malaysia)

About Tourism Malaysia

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, also known as Tourism Malaysia, is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. The next Visit Malaysia Year, set to take place in 2026, will commemorate the sustainability of the nation's tourism industry, which is also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). Furthermore, Tourism Malaysia actively endorses the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), working towards the realisation of the IMT-GT Visiting Year 2023-2025, with the shared aim of promoting the region as a unified tourism destination.

For more information, visit Tourism Malaysia’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.     

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.