Monday, December 18, 2006

Indon tourists yet to see the ‘other Malaysia’

JAKARTA: Don’t just look at Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Genting Highlands, Indonesian tour operators are told.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said it was vital that Indonesians know of other beautiful locations such as in Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and the east coast states.

“Based on the information that we received from tour operators, Indonesians prefer to spend their holidays in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Genting Highlands because of its historical importance, shopping facilities and family entertainment conveniences.

“However, other areas such as Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang also have similar attractions and beautiful beaches and scenery.

“Since Visit Malaysia Year 2007 starts next month, operators should begin to promote other tourist destinations instead of just selling the current preferred destinations,” he said after a four-hour meeting with 45 tour operators here.

The operators later signed a banner to show their support to promote Malaysian destinations in conjunction with VMY 2007.

At the dialogue, the operators voiced their problems such as flight connectivity, in particular from Kalimantan to Kuching as well as Kota Kinabalu.

Indonesians travelling on these sectors had to change flights at KL International Airport before catching another flight to their end destination.

“Passengers also face baggage problems as AirAsia flights do not provide direct transfer of baggage from one destination to another,” said Tengku Adnan.

“Apart from that, I have been told that tourists travelling by sea from Indonesia were treated roughly as if they were illegal immigrants by the Customs and Immigration personnel.

“I will discuss these problems with Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia as well as the Immigration and Customs authorities,” he said.

He said Tourism Malaysia would assist Indonesian tour operators to sell three-day packages and festivity packages by providing them the venue and booths at malls in Indonesia.

Source : STAR
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