Malaysia can achieve the target of 20.1 million tourist arrivals with expected revenue of RM40.5bil this year, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
As of May 10 this year, he said, 8.9 million tourist arrivals had been recorded with an average of two million monthly.
“We are determined to achieve the target. So far so good,” he told a press conference. “Barring unforeseen developments, we should be on track to achieve our target.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government was doing many things to achieve the target.
“Profiling of Malaysia is at an all-time high now and we are trying to reach out to as many markets as possible. We are taking the opportunity to bring in people to visit Malaysia by organising conferences,” Najib added.
He said the tourism sector had maintained its position as the second largest foreign exchange earner since 2000, receiving 10.2 million international arrivals with tourism receipts of RM17.3bil which increased to 17.55 million international tourists with receipts totalling RM36.27bil last year.
Najib said there was a 6.8% growth rate in tourist arrivals last year, with a 13.5% increase in receipts.
“This year being Visit Malaysia Year and the 50th anniversary of our nationhood, we hope to do even better. It is indeed quite a challenge but I believe that it is a target we will be able to achieve,” he said at the opening ceremony of the World Tourism Conference here yesterday.
Themed “Tourism Success Stories and Shooting Stars,” the three-day conference is being attended by more than 800 participants from 72 countries.
Najib also said the Government planned to improve connectivity between Asean countries, including between major tourist destinations like Langkawi, Bali and Phuket.
He said countries in the Asia-Pacific region must leverage from the experiences of one another to enhance their respective tourism sectors.
Source : STAR
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