Monday, November 09, 2009

Uptrend of Danish holiday makers to Malaysia expected to grow

Encouraged by the good number of Danish tourists to Malaysia this year, Tourism Malaysia will further strengthen its strategies to boost arrivals especially in the coming winter break.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said 20,161 Danes visited Malaysia up to September, a steady increase from 12,773 in 2006, 19,773 in 2007 and 23,817 last year.

Dr Ng is confident that the uptrend will continue despite the global economic uncertainties and competition from other countries such as Thailand and Spain where the Danes tend to holiday during the winter.

“This is one of the key European markets that we seriously focus on. We have all the right packages that the Danes want for a holiday, the sun, nature and our very own unique cultural identity,” she said after a “Malaysia Truly Asia” presentation and a dinner for some 30 key Danish tourism players here on Friday night.

“This winter would be especially a good time to attract the long-term Danish holidaymakers to Malaysia and to encourage them to participate in the homestay and Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programmes.”

In wrapping up a week-long tourism mission to three Scandinavian countries, Dr Ng said the MM2H was the best value-for-money product for these long haul holiday makers.

Homestays would be promoted as a healthy, family-oriented and education enriching programme for all groups of Danish tourists including children.

At the event Dr Ng also took to the floor to teach the Danish guests the “Cuticuti 1Malaysia” dance which combines various traditional ethnic dances.

She also received feedback from tour operators and the experiences of Danish tourists who visited Malaysia.

“They tell me that they love to come to Malaysia, but certain experiences especially with unscrupulous taxi drivers had spoilt their vacation,” she said.

A frequent visitor to Malaysia, Allan Hoffery said Malaysia had all the right ingredients to become a key tourist destination for the Danes except for its taxi drivers.

“They always refuse to use the meter. Once, a taxi driver wanted to charge me RM20 from Chinatown to Ritz Carlton Hotel and I say no, and he asked me to walk. I think it is really a pity. Your government is working so hard and invest so much to boost the industry, but the effort is tainted by such unethical attitudes,” said Hoffery, who is a Singapore Airlines sales manager for Denmark.

Source : STAR
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