He said last year golf contributed US$95 million (RM304 million) to Malaysia's economy, exceeding the initial forecast revenue of US$93.54 million (RM299.3 million). "This year we are targeting US$97 million (RM310 million)," Mohd Anwar told a Malaysian golf tourism roadshow and competition at the Growling Frog Golf Club, about 30km from Melbourne.
The retired admiral said the promotion of golf tourism was in line with the Putrajaya's effort to attract more high-yield tourists to Malaysia. "With more than 207 golf courses around the country, we definitely have what it takes to cater to the needs of avid golfers who crave unique experiences.
"We have courses in the City, Nature or jungle resort, island and highlands.'' Mohd Anwar said and that with such a variety of excellent courses it came as no surprise when Malaysia was named 'Australia and Asia golf destination of the year' in 2008. He urged Australia golfers and their families to take part in 'Visit Malaysia Year 2014' when there will be a full year of festivals and celebrations.
Next year will also feature major golf events kicking off with the Iskandar Johor Open in January, the Maybank Malaysia Open in April, the CIMB Classic in October and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in October.
Malaysia will also host the inaugural EurAsia Cup at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 28-30 when 10 of Europe's best golfers will challenge Asia's 10 best.
Tourism Malaysian Australian director, Roslan Abdullah said he had received many inquiries about golf tourism in Malaysia. "Australians who have played golf in Malaysia say it is a wonderful experience. Many make repeat visits and this is very encouraging,'' he said. Roslan said he and his staff are aggressively promoting Malaysia as a golfing destination through the VMY 14 programme.
About 10 Malaysian travel agents and tour operators joined about 40 of their Australian counterparts in the golfing event here Tuesday. The event in Sydney on Wednesday attracted 60 participants.
Malaysian High Commissioner, Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad took part in the Sydney event while the Consul General, Datuk Dr Mohd Rameez Yahaya attended the roadshow.