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Malaysia Tourism Confident Of Achieving Tourist Arrival Target Print E-mail
Friday, 24 October 2008 00:07

SINGAPORE, Oct 23 (Bernama) - Malaysia is confident it can achieve its target of 22.5 million tourist arrivals and RM50.5 billion in revenue this year despite the world economic doldrums, by offering its most untapped and niche tourism products.

Medical tourism, education tourism, eco-tourism, MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), 'Malaysia My Second Home' and homestay will be the forefront of Tourism Malaysias advertising and promotional campaigns in the coming months, according to its senior official.

Tourism Malaysia's director for East Asia, North Asia and South-East Asia, Chong Yoke Har, said unlike many other countries which were worried that the current gloomy economic conditions would affect their tourism industry, Malaysia was taking on the current market slowdown in a positive note.

"Initially, we were worried too and were thinking of revising down our figure of tourist arrivals this year, but we decided not to do so after we had met the big Malaysian industry players," she added.

She said they became confident with the market after looking at the plans of the local players including the Malaysian airlines, especially the low-cost carrier Air Asia, which said they had the numbers needed.

Chong was speaking to the press to announce Tourism Malaysia's promotional plans and its participation in the inaugural Asian edition of Internationale Tourimus Borse, a three-day international travel show at Suntec here.

She also said the Malaysian tourism market would not be much affected by the negative economic conditions in Europe and North America as the majority of tourist arrivals to Malaysia were regionally-based.

Tourist arrivals to Malaysia for September had dropped by 0.1 percent to 1.59 million compared with 1.60 million in the same month last year.

But the cumulative figures for tourist arrivals from January to September this year showed an increase of 4.4 percent to 16.3 million from 15.6 million over the same period last year.

The figures showed that the top five tourist-generating markets for Malaysia this year up to September were Singapore (8.12 million), Indonesia (1.71 million), Thailand (1.1 million), Brunei (414,248), and China (including Hong and Macau)(728,176).

Source: BERNAMA



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