KUALA LUMPUR: The number of tourists visiting Malaysia has gone up.
Tourists arrivals climbed 5.6% between January and September last year compared with the corresponding period in 2005, said Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim.
He said 12,903,178 tourists arrived in Malaysia from January to September last year compared with 12,213,767 in 2005.
The highest increase in tourist arrivals was from Russia.
“The increase in Russian tourists was 64% for the period. The next highest increase was visitors from Brunei (50%), followed by tourists from China, Indonesia, France (25%), India (20%) and South Korea (17%),” he said.
Lim told a press conference this after chairing the coordination meeting on tourist arrival to Malaysia and other tourism-related problems at his office yesterday.
However, he said, the number of tourists from Thailand only increased by 1.7%, with a tremendous drop recorded in July, August and September.
“This is due to the uncertainty in their own country,” he noted.
“This year following the New Year's Eve bombing in Bangkok, a group of 120 tourists cancelled their trip to Malaysia.”
On other issues, such as taxis, Lim said a special committee, chaired by the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board, would hold a meeting next week with taxi drivers and taxi owners associations and Malaysia Airports Bhd to discuss the matter.
Asked if shopping hours would be extended, he said the issue was still being discussed with various government agencies.
“We are looking at implementing longer business hours at shopping complexes from July to September,” he said.
Source : STAR
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