Monday, January 08, 2007

Wanted: Long-Haul Tourists

PUTRAJAYA: The first week of Visit Malaysia 2007 has seen some 390,000 tourists, mostly from Asian countries, visiting Malaysia.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the numbers were very encouraging although the Government was trying to encourage more long-haul visitors from places like Europe and Russia.

“We are expecting five charter flights to arrive in the next day or two, particularly those from Russia,” he said after giving away bicycles to top-scoring students at SK Putrajaya 2 here yesterday.

Tengku Adnan also quashed reports that since VM2007 started, there had been a spate of negative incidents targeted at tourists.

“There has been only one ugly incident in front of a hotel in Kuala Lumpur where the tourist was assaulted and injured by a man. Of the 390,000 tourists who came, the number of incidents has been less than 0.1%,” he said, adding that he had also received some reports of taxis overcharging passengers.

Tengku Adnan said he had apologised to the tourist involved, who had to receive 11 stitches for his wound.

On the operations of the KL Hop-On Hop-Off double decker buses, Tengku Adnan said he had advised the bus company to get more vehicles as tourists had to wait too long for their ride.
The service offers a tour with pre-recorded commentary in eight different languages that will guide tourists through 42 major sights and attractions in Kuala Lumpur.

“The turnaround time for the buses is too long due to the traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur.''
“We have also advised the company to employ tour guides on board the buses until they have managed to get the pre-recorded commentary working again,” he said, referring to earlier reports of glitches.

On complaints that Immigration officers at the country’s main entry points were unfriendly, Tengku Adnan said he would inform Home Affairs Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

Source : STAR
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