BERLIN, March 11 (Bernama) -- Malaysia was declared the second best destination in Asia by 'Go Asia', a tourism marketing network specialising in Asia, which gave good marks to the overall facilities available for tourism in Malaysia. In addition, the Frankfurt office of Tourism Malaysia was voted as the third best foreign tourist promotion office in Frankfurt, decided over a number of factors including staff response to queries and professionalism.
Azizan Noordin, Tourism Malayia deputy director-general, who is heading the large Malaysian contingent here including tour operators and hoteliers, told Bernama that he was "very happy" over the award. The 'Go Asia' initiative was founded in 2003 to enhance marketing in German-speaking regions. It currently has 28 members consisting of tour operators, airlines and tourism boards. Malaysia has also been listed as one of the 10 top destinations of the world by Lonely Planet. With the world economy rebounding, Tourism Malaysia has also increased its overall tourist arrival projection from 23.6 million to 24 million in 2010 with many experts in this part of the world saying that the number could be "easily crossed". Tourism traffic from Germany posted a double-digit growth of 15 per cent last year to 128,288 arrivals. Azizan said Malaysia's homestay programmes which are popular with Koreans and Japanese who stay for two to three days with Malaysian families to get a first-hand experience of living in a Malaysian home, would be marketed in Germany and other European countries. German tourists to Malaysia stay for an average of 10.3 nights, far more than other nationals.
"We will be promoting high-end packages this year in the German market. We have organised some special events for this segment. The Grand Prix Petronas project is being organised in collaboration with Mercedes Benz." Another attractive event will be the International Shoe Festival in Malaysia. Jimmy Choo, the Malaysian shoe icon, will host this event. "This will be followed by the Malaysian Contemporary Art Tourism Festival," said Azizan. Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, accompanied by the Federal German Minister for Economics and Technology, Rainer Bruederle, on Wednesday visited the Malaysian pavilion which featured a Melaka kampung house.