Thursday, June 07, 2007

Not Enough British Tourists

Malaysia and Britain share mutual interests in various areas, from the cultural aspect to business and trade, yet Malaysia lags in terms of British tourist arrivals compared to its neighbours.

This was pointed out by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he addressed about 300 guests, including the Leader of the House of Commons, Jack Straw, at a gala dinner in conjunction with Malaysia Week '07 here on Tuesday night.

“Britain remains a priority tourism market with 252,000 British tourists having visited Malaysia in 2006, an increase of 17% compared to the previous year. This figure, however, is very much lower compared to British tourists visiting (Malaysia's) neighbouring countries,” he said.

Najib, who was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, arrived here on Tuesday morning for a one-day visit in conjunction with Malaysia Week, to be held at the Covent Garden market for five days from yesterday.

Najib said Malaysia Week should be used to its full potential to woo Britons to visit Malaysia and explore for themselves the beauty, warm hospitality and rich diversity that Malaysia had to offer.

Reflecting on Malaysian and British mutual interests, Najib said that in terms of trade, it remained strong with total trade in 2006 amounting to RM17.9bil, and Britain remained as one of the largest investors in Malaysia with more than 300 companies and investments amounting to RM20.34 bil.

“In the field of education, Malaysian students still constitute the third largest number of foreign students in Britain, estimated at around 11,500 ,” he said.

Straw said Malaysia had achieved success at many levels, including in politics by achieving great democracy ever since it gained its independence almost 50 years ago.

Source : STAR
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