JERANTUT-BASED Tahan Holidays Sdn Bhd managing director C. C. Yong showed several Chinese a bottle of fine sand from Pulau Redang by way of introducing Malaysian islands to visitors at the World Travel Fair 2007 in Shanghai held from March 22 to 25.
Yong had collected sand and shells from Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian Besar, Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Kapas and Jara Beach.
“I regularly visit Pulau Redang. I wanted to see for myself whether the island is polluted. I just came back and am convinced that it is still beautiful and the corals are still there,” he said.
Yong was happy that most operators had been cooperative in maintaining the cleanliness of the beaches on Pulau Redang as many foreign tourists, including the Chinese, love our beaches and tropical weather.
Tourism Malaysia in Shanghai is aware of the increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting our beaches and is now working with local Chinese travel agencies in the city to sell packages to places like Cherating, Langkawi, Terengganu and Sabah.
“To the Chinese, especially those from Shanghai, the sea is a novelty.
“They like to visit Malaysia for our islands. We now see a lot of wedding and honeymoon packages to Malaysia,” said consul-general Jamal Hassan.
He said Malaysia has many tourist attractions to offer, and that the free independent travellers (FIT) market had to be catered for as well.
The number of outbound Chinese tourists has been rising since 1997, as the Chinese become more affluent.
According to the fair’s organiser, the Chinese spent more than US$16bil (RM55.2bil) on travel, with more than 30 million people opting for overseas destinations.
Last year, in Shanghai alone, 33 local travel agencies organised tour packages for about 583,000 tourists, an increase of 13.2% compared with 2005.
If the World Tourism Organisation’s forecast is anything to go by, the number of outbound Chinese tourists will reach 100 million, and the total travelling expenditure US$100bil (RM345bil), if each person spends an average of US$1,000 (RM3,450).
Selangor saw the arrival of 495,539 Chinese tourists last year – an increase of 54.5% compared with the previous year. In January this year, the state received 36,004 Chinese tourists and the Chinese market ranked second after Singapore, said Selangor Tourism Action Council planning and development manager Yuhaini Yusoff.
She was in Shanghai with Selangor economic planning unit executive officer Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din to promote education and health tourism.
Tahan Holidays is vigorously promoting Taman Negara in Pahang.
“We started providing packages to Taman Negara in 1996,” Yong said.
“The ecosystem there is balanced, it is seven times the size of Singapore, and has been protected from day one.”
Malaysia International Aerospace Adventure (MIA) 2007, which will be held from June 5 to Aug 7 at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, was also introduced to visitors at the fair.
MIA organiser Best Venue Sdn Bhd manager Koid Li Yee said the aerospace event had been well promoted in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Germany and the company was now looking for Chinese travel agencies to promote the event.
“We expect a million attendees, locals as well as visitors from all over the world. MIA is like a theme park where visitors can learn about aerospace while having fun,” she said.
Tourism Malaysia is now participating in the Guangzhou International Travel Fair. It is also sponsoring Shanghai-based QiLin FC, whose young footballers will wear jerseys with the Visit Malaysia 2007 logo.
Source : STAR
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel vmy2007]