Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the package would enable tourists to fly to Malaysia or Indonesia and visit Georgetown in Penang, Melaka and Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia which were recognised as World Heritage sites by Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)
"I met the Indonesian Tourism Minister last Saturday and discussed the matter with him, and he welcomed the proposed cooperation.
"We will arrange a meeting between tourism officials from both countries to draw up an official programme for the purpose," she said after chairing a meeting to discuss the mission and direction of state tourism action councils at the ministry, here, Monday.
"We target groups like senior citizens and retirees who are interested in heritage and historical sites. We understand that Indonesia receives many travellers from Europe who mostly visit Borobudur, so this is a chance for us to promote Malaysia's heritage sites," she added.
Dr Ng said discussions were also held with airlines on the cooperation between the two countries on the three-in-one package and they were positive about it.
On the influenza A(H1N1) infections in some countries, she said her ministry always discussed with the relevant authorities and channelled information to foreign tourists that Malaysia was still free from the viral infection.
"Anyway, the government is closely monitoring the situation and constantly providing updates on the pandemic."
Asked on the proposal to abolish the state tourism action councils before, she said any decision on it had been shelved and focus given instead to efforts to further develop the tourism industry.
"This is a very challenging time, with the global economic downturn and influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. We will review the structure of the state tourism action councils at a suitable time. At this moment, it is better to carry on with the plans already made."
Dr Ng said her ministry did not practise favouritism in promoting tourism in the states but of all of them, including opposition-ruled states, must show commitment to the events organised by the ministry.
On tourist arrivals, she said from January to March this year, the number recorded was 5.46 million compared to 5.34 million in the same period last year.
Source : Bernama
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