Monday, February 05, 2007

Need method to Calculate Tourist Arrivals

THE country’s tourism industry lacks a comprehensive system in calculating the number of tourist arrivals.

Penang Tourism Development and Environment Committee chairman Teng Chang Yeow said that a more precise system was needed to record the correct number of tourist arrivals, especially when it involves all the states.

“At the moment, the states are only using figures furnished by star-rated hotels while at the national level, figures are from the Immigration Department,” he told reporters after attending a press conference on the state-level Chinese New Year celebration recently.

Teng said these figures from the hotels did not reflect the correct number of arrivals as it did not include backpackers, service apartments, budget hotels and tourists who stayed under the homestay programme.

“It is also very difficult for the individual states to gauge the number of arrivals as we have a situation where tourists travel by rail or road to these states after arriving in Kuala Lumpur and figures at the borders are not recorded,” he added.

Acknowledging that it was not easy to formulate a system to solve the problem, Teng said the state had discussed the matter with those in the industry and Policy Research Centre at Universiti Sains Malaysia to come out with an improved method.

Source : STAR
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