Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Malaysia ‘an exceptional tourism destination’

Malaysia has been able to position itself as an exceptional tourism destination for three different kinds of markets in regional tourism.

World Tourism Organisation secretary-general Francesco Frangialli said the Malaysia Truly Asia campaign had been successful in strengthening its position in Asia followed by the Western European outgoing markets, which were the most important ones for South-East Asia.

Thirdly, he said Malaysia's moderate and tolerant stance as a Muslim destination was a good image for the new market from the Gulf region.

He advised Asean countries, including Malaysia, to “remain what you are” so as to sustain themselves in the global tourism market.

“People try to identify a destination based on its simplicity and personality. You are celebrating your 50th anniversary. Now, remain what you are. You have been able to build a good image,” he told reporters after the opening ceremony of the World Tourism Conference here yesterday.

In his opening speech, Frangialli said the industry witnessed not only the strong resilience which retrieved its previous growth trend, but also the birth of a more mature tourism industry which led to a more moderate, more solid and more responsible growth.

He also said the industry had received a number of shocks in recent years, contributing to “zero growth” from 2001 to 2003, but followed by a sharp rebound from 2004 to 2006.

He said international arrivals were poised to reach 1.1 billion by 2010 and nearly 1.6 billion by 2020.

“By 2020, China, for instance, will have been the world's leading tourist destination for several years, and some 100 million Chinese will be travelling abroad each year.”

Source : STAR
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