Quoting data from the World Tourism Organisation, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said Malaysia recorded 23.6 million arrivals last year, up from 22 million in 2008.
“We are confident that as the global economy recovers, Malaysia can expect more visitors,” she said, adding that this year’s target would be 24 million arrivals with an estimated RM54bil revenue.
Tourism was Malaysia’s second largest economic contributor after manufacturing, she said.
Dr Ng’s speech was read by Malaysia Tourism chairman Datuk Dr Victor Wee at the Matta Fair March 2010 opening ceremony yesterday.
According to Dr Ng, more programmes would be introduced to attract international tourists, among them the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Malaysia International Shoe Festival and the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival.
“With more arrivals, revenue from the services sectors will be multi-fold,” she said.
The expectations of travellers had changed with the years and today’s tourists wanted experiential holidays filled with action, adventure, fantasy and exotic touches, she added.
At a press conference, Dr Wee said that despite Malaysia’s small population of 28 million, it had done well to be among the top 10 most popular destinations in the world.
The top five visitors to Malaysia were from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and China, overtaking traditional groups from Europe, he added.
Source : STAR
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