A whopping RM22.4 billion! That was the amount of money that foreign tourists spent in this country in the first six months of this year, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today.
He said 10.7 million visitors came to Malaysia during the period, and each spent an average of RM2,100 (US$600).
"This is within the range of our target of getting them to spend RM45.5 billion (US$13 billion) during Visit Malaysia Year (VMY 2007)," he told reporters after opening the Food and Hotel Malaysia 2007 exhibition here.
Tengku Adnan said VMY 2007 would be extended to Aug 31 next year under a campaign known as "One Golden Celebration", to capitalise on the country's 50th Merdeka celebrations starting Aug 31.
On the reported shortage of hotel rooms in Pahang, Langkawi, Sabah and Kuala Lumpur, he said that at a meeting earlier today key industry players agreed to encourage more new players to build hotels as a long-term solution to the problem. Other steps included postponing some major events.
"One of them is the Malaysian International Space Adventure (Misa). We are trying to push it to the end of the year or early next year," he said.
Meanwhile, Tengku Adnan urged budget hotel operators to install safety features such as emergency exits in their premises and to register their business.
"There are about 3,000 unlicensed budget hotels nationwide. We are working to get them registered with the local councils. We can't be harsh on them because they are also providing rooms for the tourists," he said when asked to comment on a recent fire at a travel lodge here.
Source : Bernama
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel vmy2007]