He said the ministry had set its focus on promoting tourist spending rather than on tourist arrivals.
Speaking on the matter, the minister expressed disappointment that the target of RM37.5bil for 2006 in tourist spending was not achieved, which was the reason for the change in strategy.
“Our target of 17.5 million tourist arrivals last year was met, although we can’t say the same for tourist spending. We cannot rate the industry's success based on arrivals simply because many do not stay here long enough. There is definitely a need to change this.
“This year, we have set our sights on achieving RM44.5bil in tourist spending,” he said, adding that the ministry had taken numerous measures involving promotions and events to ensure Visit Malaysia 2007 was a success.
He added that the publication of the guide by KasehDia Sdn Bhd was timely as it supported the Government's effort to make the country a global hub for the production and trade in halal goods and services.
“This was stipulated in the Third Industrial Master Plan launched last year.
“Muslim tourists, particularly those from West Asia, are a discerning lot and this guide allows them to have access to more sophisticated halal dining,” he said, adding that this would indirectly encourage tourists to extend their stay.
Tengku Adnan also urged others to come forward with such guides in promoting the country, adding that they need not only promote halal food.
Source : STAR
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel vmy2007]