Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hong Kong wants more Muslim tourists from Malaysia

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is targeting to increase the number of Muslim tourists from Malaysia.

Its regional director (South/Southeast Asia) David Leung said for the first five months of 2007, there were 173,000 visitors from Malaysia, of which a substantial portion comprised Muslims.

There were 445,000 Malaysian visitors to Hong Kong in 2006.

"The 173,000 figure is about 10% more than the figure for the same corresponding period of 2006.

"We expect a single digit growth in Malaysian visitors to Hong Kong for the second half of this year," he said.

Leung spoke at a workshop for Muslim travelers to Hong Kong from Malaysia.

The workshop is organised by HKTB and supported by Cathay Pacific Airways and Uni Asia Tours Hong Kong.

"The completion of Disneyland in 2005, the Wetlands Park in 2006, and the recent completion of the cable car ride in Lantau Island were the crowd pullers for tourism," he said.

Leung said to attract more Muslim visitors from Malaysia, HKTB would launch in October a guide book for Muslim travelers in Hong Kong.

"The book contains information and addresses of all the halal-certified restaurants in Hong Kong.

"It also contains information of the interesting tourism sites in Hong Kong," he said.

Leung said the guidebook would be made available at travel agents and airline companies in the South and Southeast Asia region.

"The workshop is to address the religious and dietary need of Muslim travelers in Hong Kong.

"It is also to update travel agents' product knowledge and enable them to better understand what Hong Kong can offer to Muslims visitors," he said.

HKTB will be having a similar workshop in Kuala Lumpur on July 12 (Thursday).

Leung said Muslims travelers from Malaysia to Hong Kong started to increase some five years ago.

Source : STAR
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