Monday, January 12, 2009

2008 Tourism Stats

Malaysia saw a 5.1 per cent increase in tourist arrivals last year despite the global economic challenges. Tourist arrivals numbered 22.052 million, compared with 20.972 million in 2007.
Attributing it to her ministry's intense promotional efforts, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said long-haul markets showed the highest percentage increase.

The number of tourists from Canada grew by 65.6 per cent, followed by those from the Netherlands (63.3 per cent), Russia (56 per cent), France (44.4 per cent), Norway (43.9 per cent ) and Germany (41.9 per cent).

Singapore maintained its position as the largest tourist generating market last year, with some 11 million Singaporeans visiting the country.

Speaking at a press conference at the Vietnam Exhibition Fair Centre here, Azalina said the country's approach to promoting the tourism industry had become a point of reference for other Asean countries.
Malaysia was also being viewed as the front-runner for new markets such as the Middle East, India and China.

"They have always looked up to us because of our ability to tap new markets.

"We are one step ahead of them (Asean member countries)."

She also said the collaboration among member countries to promote tourism in the region was discussed widely during the Asean Tourism Forum held here.

"Asean countries could collaborate by choosing neighbouring countries as the second, third or fourth destinations in tour packages," she added.

Azalina said she would be appealing to the Finance Ministry to restore its advertising and promotion budget, which was cut by 10 per cent for this year.

"If we want more people to visit Malaysia, we need to carry out more aggressive campaigns."

Source : NST
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