BANGKOK, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- The number of Myanmar tourist arrivals to Malaysia is expected to bounce back this year after recording a decline in the previous year due to domestic political issues in that country.
Tourism Malaysia deputy director (Thailand and Myanmar) Mohamed Shahrir Hadzim said the decline was probably driven by Myanmar's historic general election last November.
"We expect Myanmar tourist arrivals in Malaysia to bounce back," he told Bernama.
Malaysia saw some 49,000 Myanmar tourists from January to September last year as compared to 95,352 in 2014, while 90,740 Myanmar tourists arrived in Malaysia in 2013.
On Nov 8, last year Myanmar held its first free general election in 25 years which saw the participation of Nobel Peace Laureate democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time.
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won a sweeping victory in the general election.
According to Mohamed Shahrir, Tourism Malaysia will work with travel agents in Myanmar to promote the country's tourism products besides carrying out ongoing campaigns through the local media.
He said campaigns to 'sell' Malaysia among the people of Myamnar was also conducted through the use of social media.
On the destination of choice for Myanmar tourists - many of whom arrived in groups - he said shopping centres and theme parks such as Genting, Sunway Lagoon were their main focus.
The good airline cooperation between the two countries through Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Myanmar Air also had a positive impact on the increase of the country's tourist arrivals to Malaysia, added Mohamed Shahrir.