Monday, January 08, 2007

Let’s Work Together to Make Tourists Happy

Visit Malaysia 2007 kicked off on Saturday. Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab talks on how to make it a success.

What is your advice to Malaysians to make VM 2007 a success?

Let’s all work together as Malaysians as there is a lot to gain from Visit Malaysia 2007.
Together, we must walk the extra mile to make tourists feel welcomed and comfortable in our beautiful country. Let’s be courteous, helpful and always smile at them.

With Malaysia entering its 50 years of independence, what are some of the main events lined up for VM 2007?
The Government has lined up 50 national events. They include the “Eye on Malaysia,” “Colours of Malaysia,” the Malaysia International Aerospace Exhibition, the KL International Buskers Festival and the various mega sales.
There will be other international events such as the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak and the Penang World Music Festival, which is the first time two major music festivals are being held back to back.
Other events like the Flora Fest will see 40 countries taking part. The fest is fashioned after the famous Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade in California, United States.
For “Colours of Malaysia,” or Citrawarna, Malaysia is planning a 3km-long street party.
Speaking of celebrations, one of the biggest tourist draws for us is our tradition of holding open house.

Tourism activities generate income and how do they play an important part in the economy?
Tourism has become the second-biggest revenue earner, after manufacturing. We expect to earn RM44bil in revenue this year through VM 2007.
We must make tourism a big success through Visit Malaysia Year. Through our global campaign “Malaysia Truly Asia,” Tourism Malaysia has launched “The time is now, The Place is Malaysia” programme now running on CNN, which makes Malaysia well known to the entire world.

With the launch of VM 2007, how should Malaysians treat tourists?
We want the tourists to come back. So when you see a tourist, say: “Welcome to Malaysia and have a pleasant stay.”

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