Millions of Malaysians travel abroad and so the Tourism Ministry wants to know why they go overseas and what do they do there.
So it has proposed that Malaysians fill in a special form when they leave the country.
Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that according to Immigration Department records, 15 million Malaysians travelled overseas last year and the figure was just about two million less than the number of tourist arrivals, totalling 17.5 million.
“Since we currently do not require those leaving the country to fill up any forms, we do not know what Malaysians do overseas.
“The purpose of introducing an embarkation card is because we merely want to know their activities, whether they
go abroad to travel, for business, study, visit relatives or other reasons.
“The number of Malaysians travelling abroad every year is high and we want to know why they like to go out of the country. If it is for travelling and tourism purposes, we hope to encourage them to participate in domestic tourism,” he said yesterday.
Tengku Adnan said Malaysia had a lot to offer and many Malaysians had yet to visit local places of interest, adding that while his ministry was aggressively promoting foreign tourists to visit the country, domestic tourism was equally important.
“Tourism is the second highest foreign-exchange earner in the country after the manufacturing sector. It provides direct employment for some 500,000 people and indirect employment for 2.5 million people.
“Hence, it is important that we keep on smiling and be warm, gracious and hospitable, not only to foreign tourists but to the locals as well,” he added.
Source : STAR
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