Monday, June 22, 2009

A H1N1 Flu scare keeping tourists away

Foreign tourists, especially those from Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, are cancelling their travel plans because of the rise in A(H1N1) cases globally.

The local tourism industry was also affected as about 90% of Japanese travellers have cancelled their trips to the state, Malaysian Tourist Guides Council president Jimmy Leong said yesterday.

“Many of these Japanese tourists cancel their travel plans because they are afraid to board flights that may expose them to the influenza.

“People will only travel if they feel safe and are satisfied that proper measures have been taken at the airports,” he said in an interview.

State Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consu- mer Affairs Committee chairman Hoo Seong Chang echoed Leong’s statement, saying that there had been a decrease in foreign tourist arrivals.

“The tourism sector has definitely suffered a drop in foreign arrivals but we are working closely with the health department,” he said after a press conference here.

Hoo also said that his committee was alerting all major tourist agencies to cooperate with the health ministry and keep abreast of the latest developments.

“I have also urged local travel companies to focus on wooing domestic travellers.

“We have an average of three million domestic travellers who formed the bulk of our tourists last year.”

Source : STAR
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