Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen is confident of 24 million tourist arrivals this year, an increase from the 23.65 million recorded last year.
Announcing the target at the National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) media briefing for Malaysia yesterday, she said it would be achieved through several strategies such as holding new international events while continuing with existing events.
"We will continue the F1 Petronas Grand Prix at Sepang in April, Colours of Malaysia cultural performance, and bring back the International Floral Parade, in conjunction with the Floral Festival in Putrajaya.
"We will be also be organising the first Malaysian contemporary art festival from July to September," she said, during the briefing held in conjunction with the Asean Tourism Forum (ATF) 2010.
Last year, Malaysia recorded an increase of 7.2 per cent in tourist arrivals, from 22.05 million the previous year.
Another target set by the country is to increase the number of repeat visitors and the average length of stay, said Dr Ng.
"Currently, the average length of stay is 6.4 days and we want to increase it to eight days.
"We also want to increase the percentage of repeat visitors from developed countries, from the current 17 per cent (of overall tourist arrivals) to 30 per cent, maybe in three years' time and gradually to 50 per cent in five years," she added.
To a question, Dr Ng said Malaysia would focus on the Middle East market -- besides China and India -- where sufficient visibility and promotional activities would be held, and even promoting 'Malaysia, My Second Home' to its people.
Popular travel guidebook Lonely Planet has chosen Malaysia as one of the world's top 10 countries to visit for 2010, where the country was the only Southeast Asian country in the top ten list.
The guide has also identified Malaysia as one of the 'Best Value Destinations for 2010', in addition to being among the 'top spots for medical adventures'.
Source : Bernama
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