NEW YORK, April 21 (Bernama) -- Despite the three plane tragedies of last year, the 2014 tourist traffic from the United States (US) to Malaysia remained stable.
"The total number of arrivals from the United States in Malaysia was around 262,000 in 2014. Despite the three tragedies, we achieved our targets.
"Indeed, without the tragedies, we could have achieved a much higher level of arrivals from the United States," Azlina Azni Zainal Abidin, the vice president of the Los Angeles office of Tourism Malaysia, told Bernama during a visit to New York where she attended a meeting.
"Though the three tragedies were terrible, we have been told by the US travel industry that Malaysia's image as an attractive tourist destination should not be affected. These tragedies, we were told, could happen anywhere," Azlina said.
People who have visited Malaysia have become spokespeople for the country.
"Tourists have told me that Malaysia's best asset are its people who are very warm, hospitable and helpful.
As a destination, Malaysia has a lot to offer. We are continuing to promote Malaysia," she said.
The Tourism Malaysia's vice president, whose jurisdiction, besides the US west coast, also includes Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, and a few other countries, contended that tourist traffic from the US to Malaysia came, mostly, from the west because of its 'proximity to Asia' and the 'good frequency of flights provided by airlines to Malaysia through their national hubs' such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airline, All-Nippon Airways, EVA Airways.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has completely withdrawn from North America, and stopped flying to its two destinations in the US, Los Angeles and Newark-New York, some years back.
"Most of the traffic from the US to Malaysia comes from the West Coast. We also work with tourism offices of other Asian countries," she said.