Friday, August 14, 2009

Tourist arrivals up in Malaysia for July 2009

Despite the Influenza A (H1N1) scare and the economic slowdown, the number of tourists last month increased by 3.9% compared to the same period last year.

According to Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, some two million tourists arrived in the country last month compared to 1.92 million in the same month last year.

Dr Ng attributed the increase to successful promotions and cooperation from the industry.

"Tourists for the first seven months of this year also increased by 3.6% to 13.35 million compared to 12.89 million for the corresponding period last year," she told a press conference here yesterday.

The top 10 tourist generating markets for last month included Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Australia and China.

For the same month, double-digit growth was recorded for tourist arrivals from the Netherlands (93.7% growth), Iran (88.8%), Myanmar, France, Turkey and Denmark, among others.

Dr Ng said Malaysia and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to promote Malacca, Penang and Borobudur Temple under the one World Heritage Sites travel package.

"The package will target heritage and culture enthusiasts and senior citizens.

"It is a very special package that provides an unforgettable experience of visiting three heritage sites located in two countries under one package," she added.

Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Victor Wee said only competent tour guides who were trained in heritage tours would be promoting the package.

Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia has appointed two new members to its board of directors. They are Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Seri Tengku Dr Zainal Adlin and Borsamulu Resort Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Robert Geneid in Sarawak.

Later in Petaling Jaya, Ng urged Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) to resolve its crisis immediately for the sake of the industry.

"MATTA is an association and we cannot take sides. But they need to manage their problems and do it fast," she said.

The association has been embroiled in controversy and a leadership tussle since its annual general meeting on June 27.

The Registrar of Societies is currently investigating the issue.

Source : AsiaOne News
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