Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Malaysia ‘just too far away’

OSLO: The long flying hours and one too many transits have been identified as prime hurdles for Europeans planning to holiday in Malaysia.

The monsoon season on the peninsula's east coast, which coincides with winter, is another dampener for Europeans who enjoy ecotourism and diving activities.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said his ministry had taken note of the feedback and was taking steps to provide tourists with alternatives.

For instance, he said the ministry, together with the respective state governments, was in the process of promoting ecotourism and island resorts on the west coast.

“Travelling to these states from Kuala Lumpur is nearer and faster,” said Lim who arrived here yesterday for a one-day travel seminar to promote Visit Malaysia 2007 and beyond.

He said European travellers spent an average of 10 nights in Malaysia.

Earlier yesterday in Helsinki, Tuomas Mantysaari, the managing director of Matkantekijat-Tourplanners, said that Malaysia was considered “far away,” when Lim asked whether Finnish companies provided holidays abroad as perks for their employees.

Mantysaari said that holidaying abroad should span at least a week and excessively long hours of flying and transits would mean less time for relaxation and fun.

Source : STAR
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