The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board has lined up strategies to introduce affordable new tourism products and packages to attract more Singaporeans to Malaysia.
Malaysia Tourism Singapore director Zalizam Zakaria said Singapore was a "very big and important market for us".
"It has always been the biggest contributor to our nation's tourism economy," he told Bernama after the launch of the Central Region Seminar and Travel Mart 2011, here.
Zalizam said Malaysia Tourism Singapore contributed nearly 53 per cent of the total tourist arrivals from Singapore to Malaysia, saying: "In 2009, we had about 12 million Singaporeans visiting Malaysia. Last year, the number was up by four per cent to 13 million." This year, he said, although the target set by the Tourism Ministry was only 12 million tourists but "I think we can match the same number or little bit higher than that."
Explaining that Singapore has only five million population and how did Malaysia received 13 million Singaporean tourist arrivals, Zalizam said this was because of repeat visitors. "On the average, at least one Singaporean goes to Malaysia 2.5 times. After two or three times, where do they go, that's why we have to expose new places for them. Our strategy now is to open new places and new products for them," he said.
Citing east coast states (Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang), Perak, Sabah and Sarawak as well as the rest of Malaysia are popular but were getting less visitors.
He said Tourism Malaysia Singapore was aggressively working with various state governments to woo Singaporeans to these places. Zalizam said Tourism Malaysia Singapore initiated this seminar and travel market last year by focusing on region by region.
"We started with the east coast last year and today we are organising the event to promote the central region comprising Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya," he said. He said the seminar and the travel market served as a fitting platform for tourism players from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya to meet Singapore travel and tour agents.
"The objective of organising this session is to allow the states to update their latest tourism development happenings and to introduce these new products and packages in their future travel itineraries," he added.
Source : Bernama
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