The two street demonstrations held here yesterday forced tour agencies to cancel or shelve city programmes for visiting foreign tourists for fear of their safety.
Sri Sutra Travel Sdn Bhd said it took precautionary measures to avert any inconvenience for tourists under its charge.
Managing director Datuk Syed Mohd Razif Al-Yahya Syed Yassin said the tourists were confined to activities in the vicinity of their hotels yesterday.
He said the street demonstrations would have given the tourists a bad impression of Malaysia and it would take some time for them to pick Malaysia as their travel destination again.
He also said that wide coverage of the street demonstrations by the international media was also bad publicity for the country.
The Association of Bumiputera Travel and Tour Agents (Bumitra), which has more than 300 members, said the closure of several major roads in the city to thwart the demonstrators had jeopardised several tour activities and affected the income of agents.
Its president, Mohd Ayub Hassan, said the association, in keeping with a directive from the Tourism Ministry, had given preference to the safety of tourists and kept them away from the "sensitive" spots during the demonstration.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen had said a week ago that it would take the ministry six months to restore confidence in foreign tourists regarding their safety when in Malaysia.
She had also said that the uncertainty caused by the bad publicity on the street demonstration would slash tourist arrivals and cost national revenue by as much as RM1 billion.
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel tourism news]