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Malaysia hopes to have six lakh Indian visitors this year Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 August 2009 20:49

Mumbai: Notwithstanding global recession and swine flu, Malaysia is hoping to attract 6 lakh Indian tourists this year. The Tourism Board of Malaysia (TBM) intends to achieve this by launching an India-specific website, a 'One Malaysia' special holiday package and by persuading high end travellers to buy a second home in Malaysia.

To tap the short-haul travel market, TBM launched 'One Malaysia' campaign where a person can go to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from anywhere in India for just Rs17,000. It's a four-day, three night package with return airfare and accommodation.

"Last year we saw 5 lakh Indian tourist arrivals and this year we intend to tap one lakh more," said Dato Sri Ng Yen Yen, tourism minister for Malaysia. In spite of seeing the Indian passenger traffic fall by 4% in July, TBM is hopeful to achieve the targets.
"India has a huge middle class of 200 million and 50 million millionaires and we are hopeful to get them," said Yen Yen. To achieve this target TBM has launched a website www. Malaysiajao.com to hitch the Indian traveller.

To enable Indians who have enough disposable income to buy property, TBM is encouraging them to have a second home in Malaysia. "Any person with a monthly income of USD3,000 can apply for Malaysia My Second Home (MMSH) scheme. He will get a 10 year multiple entry visa. We will also increase the number of flights from India to Malaysia," she said.

"Everything in Malaysia right from bread, petrol to sugar is subsidised except jewelleries. For instance, one litre fuel in Malaysia is Rs 26 while that in India is Rs 49. Sugar is Rs 19 per kg while that in India is Rs 35 per kg," she said.

When asked why they are not allowing visa on arrival like Thailand, Yen Yen said they do not wish people to get stuck and deported due to some lapse rendering them unable to get visa after arrival. She said they were monitoring the situation regarding visa fee issue and will make it free at appropriate time.

She also said TBM will be working in close co-ordination with Indian and Malaysian tour operators to encourage bilateral travel and will also assist India to hold the 2010 Commonwealth games.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_malaysia-hopes-to-have-six-lakh-indian-visitors-this-year_1284400



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