A man with creative ideas, was our first impression of Mr. Hishamuddin Mustafa when Kover visited him at his office at Consulate-General of Malaysia Building on Jalan Pangeran Diponegoro no. 43 Medan. This friendly and energetic person is the Director of Malaysia Tourism, based in Medan. Pak Hisham, officially started serving in his office since September 30th, 2019.
With a fairly extensive jurisdiction area, covering the entire island of Sumatra and the Riau archipelago, Hisham without any delay has visited several tourist sites in Medan on bicycle. He also has visited Aceh for a couple of times.
“I am so amazed to see the beauty of Takengon. The infrastructure there still requires a lot of attention, but the beauty is stunning. Plus, Aceh coffee is well roasted and served fresh, sangat sedap!” he said. “I will visit Pekan Baru and Padang in the near future and meet local travel agencies and media partners there to promote Visit Malaysia 2020”, he added.
Hisham learned that his origins were from Bukit Tinggi, that his ancestors migrated to Malaya almost 300 years ago. This, he believed, is what makes him comfortable in Sumatera, and his adaptation phase slipped by smoothly.
According to Hisham, tourism industry requires reciprocal approach, instead of one-way thinking.
“Personally, that is what Silangit Airport lacks. The airport only expects Malaysian tourists to come to Lake Toba via Silangit Airport, whereas flights will not survive if the load factor remains low, since there is no two-way promotion. Cooperation should be carried out not only with airlines but also with Malaysia Tourism. As in Aceh, we have conducted promotions on medical tourism and educational programs in Malaysian universities, so that the airline route from Silangit to Penang is also filled. Win-win solution is the goal,” he explained.
Towards the end of his interview, Hisham shared some wise advice with us. “Everyone has different strengths. Those are what we need to explore and focus on when interacting with others. Not the shortcomings.” He then continued, “I believe in friendship-marketing. If we treat people as friends, we could go far. If we only interact with people in official situations, we will only get limited results. Friendship-marketing is not limited to working hours and spaces, but beyond.”
Writer: Elsa Malona, Photographer: Vicky siregar