Malaysia's Tourism Ministry is to focus on promoting eco-tourism in Malaysia as its future tourism development plan, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said here.
She said Malaysia had more then 1,000 species of flowering plants which could be developed into an interesting tourism product.
"Ecological tourism has a potential market which is yet to be developed and many European tourists are very interested in visiting garden and flower expos," she said, adding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also supported the idea of promoting ecological tourism in Malaysia.
"Malaysia won a gold medal in its maiden participation in the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show 2010, and this has proven that Malaysian tropical plants can be turned into an attractive tourism product," she said after a meeting with the mayor of the Xuchang Municipal Government, Li Ya, on Saturday.
Ng, who is on a four-day working trip to China, is visiting Guang Zhou and Zhengzhou. She had held dialogues with local tourism operators and attended the International Mayors' Forum on Tourism (IMFT) in Henan on Friday.
Ng said the ministry would look into the possibility of Malaysia signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Xuchang in conducting garden and flower expo visiting tours.
"The ministry will hold the Malaysia International Floral Parade in Putrajaya on July 10 and Xuchang will hold its international flower festival in September this year.
"This could be a chance for both countries to conduct bilateral tours to visit these events and encourage China tourists to visit Malaysia and vice versa," she said.
Ng also expressed Malaysia's interest to participate in the Xuchang international flower festival to showcase Malaysian flowering plants to China.
She also suggested to Li that Xuchang should consider exporting its unique pottery known as Jun porcelain to Malaysia and turn Malaysia into a trading centre for the pottery for Asean countries.
At her meeting with Henan Governor Guo Gengmao earlier, Ng had proposed that Henan consider promoting its historic places to Malaysian tourists while Malaysia would introduce its multicultural uniqueness to China tourists.
"Exchanging ideas and suggestions always helps to develop the tourism industry by introducing different packages to be offered to tourists," she said.
Ng also emphasised that the development of the tourism industry with other Asean countries as well as China should focus on collaboration rather than competition.
Source : Bernama
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