Friday, May 20, 2011

25 Million Tourist Arrivals Achievable This Year

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 (Bernama) - The drop in tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year by one per cent compared to the same period last year is not something worrying as it will pick up during the subsequent quarters, said Tourism Deputy Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit. "Normally, the number of tourist arrivals for the first three months is not encouraging but will increase after that, especially during the summer.

"Usually, at the beginning of the year people around the world are busy at work and they go for holidays in the summer, including to Malaysia," he told a news conference after opening the Malaysian Tourism Fair (MTF) 2011, here Friday. In view of this, Dawos was confident that the 25 million tourist arrival target set for this year could be achieved. He said tourists would choose to visit Malaysia as "it is blessed with beautiful natural attractions, government stability and friendly people, and is safe in terms of security".

Twenty-four million tourists visited Malaysia last year with projected revenue of RM56.5 billion from their expenditure, up by 5.8 per cent from RM53.4 billion earned in the previous year. "The average spending per capita for international tourists is around RM3,000 and for domestic tourists, it is about RM300 because it is cheap to travel in this country," Dawos said.

Meanwhile, National Tourism Council president who is also the MTF organising chairman Datuk Shamsul Falak Abdul Kadir said, this year's fair showcased every aspect and sector of Malaysia's tourism industry to encourage Malaysians to travel within the country. "We can see that every sector is related to tourism. Therefore, other ministries and public agencies and bodies should come forward and capitalise on the avenues available such as MTF to jointly promote local tourism as a whole," he said. The three-day MTF from today is held at the Putra World Trade Centre.
-Photo: Pelancongan Kini

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