The influx of tourist arrivals for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007 is more than what the Government bargained for and is resulting in a shortage of hotel rooms.
This has prompted the Tourism Ministry to come up with measures to remedy the situation.
Some of the measures discussed at the Tourism Malaysia board meeting on Thursday included delaying or spacing out activities as well as extending the VMY 2007 into next year.
“We discussed that some events be spaced out to prevent a sudden influx of visitors coming, such as the Malaysian International Aerospace Adventure, which will probably be held at the end of the year and carry through to next year,” said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor at the launch of the Ninth Food & Hotels Malaysia 2007 exhibition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Thursday.
“I also mentioned to the Cabinet a few months ago – but have not made an official proposal – about extending the Visit Malaysia Year campaign to Aug 31, 2008, because we will still be celebrating our 50th independence until then.”
Tengku Adnan said the latest statistics showed some 10.7 million tourist arrivals as of June, and that room shortage problem has been acute in Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Pahang and Sabah.
“I am worried that tourist arrivals may reach 24 million!” he said, when asked if he was confident of VMY 2007 achieving its target.
He said the ministry had already urged tour operators and hotels to advise walk-in guests to stay at hotels in Bangi, Nilai, Seremban and Putrajaya, as “even Shah Alam is packed.”
The minister also called on industry players to build more hotels or extend rooms to counter the shortage, which was also caused by visitors who overextend their stay in the country.
He added that despite the influx in tourist arrivals, the ministry was not satisfied with tourist spending.
“Their expenditure is not as good compared to the same period last year, because of the visitors from Asean countries whose average expenditure is lower than tourists from the Middle East and other countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ministry is encouraging local councils to relax their regulations in licensing budget hotels and travel lodges.
Source : STAR
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