Wednesday, December 25, 2013

More Can Be Done To Promote Malaysia In Russia - Russian Envoy

Langkawi Island. photo: PelanconganKini
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 (Bernama) -- Although the number of Russians visiting Malaysia is rising, there is still room to further promote Malaysia in Russia, Russian envoy Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva said.

"I really would like to see perhaps a little bit more information about Malaysia in Russia promoted by your board (Tourism Malaysia) because Malaysia is a very attractive place and I know that all Russians who've been here were very happy with their stay in Malaysia," she told Bernama here recently.

For example, she said, many Russian tourists have only heard about Langkawi whereas there are many other must see tourist destinations in Malaysia.

She noted that many Russian tourists would love to visit Malaysia again, but "unfortunately when they hear of Malaysia, they only think of Langkawi," she said.

The ambassador to Malaysia made the observation when asked to comment about the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 through which the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is targeting 28 million international tourists.

"Langkawi is very much known in Russia whereas Malaysia has many more places to offer. However, Russian tourists are now starting to explore these other places. For instance, many of them are also going to Sabah now," she said.

She said that tourism was a very promising area for bilateral cooperation and as such, it was very important to not only target Moscow and Saint Petersburg but also the Asian part of Russia (Siberia) and the Pacific Coast.

The ambassador said this year the number of Russians visiting Malaysia was expected to double to 80,000, compared with 44,765 visitors last year.

"We expect this number to grow because Southeast Asia as a whole is becoming one of the major tourist destinations for Russians," Vorobyeva said, adding that last year one million Russians visited Thailand, 200,000 Indonesia and 100,000 Vietnam. Vorobyeva said Southeast Asia also presented a very good mixture of interesting culture with warm and welcoming people.

The region is also blessed with beautiful nature as well as the warm sea and beaches which Russians love most, whenever they want to escape the cold Russian winter, she added.


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