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Published: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 12:50:32 PM

VMY 2014 first-day arrivals receive star treatment

SEPANG: Thousands of visitors who arrived through 37 entry points throughout the country on the first day of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY 2014) were given a warm and rousing welcome.

Whether it was at airports, ports or CIQ complexes, the visitors received “VIP” treatment in specially arranged ceremonies, which saw them walking between lines of cultural troupes clad in full traditional attires.

The major ceremonies were held at KL International Airport (KLIA), Subang Skypark Terminal, Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), Padang Besar CIQ, Penang International Airport, Langkawi International Airport, Bukit Kayu Hitam CIQ, KL Sentral, Second Link, Causeway, Rantau Panjang, Kuching International Airport, Sungai Tujuh Immigra­tion Centre in Miri and Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

Those arriving via cruise ship at the Port Klang Cruise Centre were also given a special welcome.

VIP treatment: The Proboscis Monkey mascot welcoming tourists at LCCT Sepang on the first day of Visit Malaysia 2014.

At KLIA, Tourism Malaysia and Air Asia staff greeted the first tourists of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 with flower garlands and teh tarik, a favourite drink of many Malaysians.

Japanese tourist Kaito Yamada, 43, said he was pleasantly surprised the Malaysian hosts were as warm and friendly as he had heard from friends who had travelled here before.

Yamada, who travelled from Osaka with his wife and son, said the family was planning to see as much of the country starting in Kuala Lumpur and then heading up to Ipoh and Penang.

Engineering graduate Allison Jones, 22, said she did not expect be able to try teh tarik as soon as she arrived.

Jones said she chose Malaysia as the first leg of her backpacking trip around South-East Asia as it seemed to already feature a lot of the regional culture.

“I wanted to see what’s out there before starting work,” said the Australian national.

Tourism and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng led the welcoming ceremonies by personally greeting about 100 visitors from China as a symbolic gesture, indicating the commencement of VMY 2014 at the main arrival hall.

They were greeted with cultural performances accompanied by traditional music such as gamelan, cempuling and kompang.

A group of Mah Meri cultural performers from Carey Island in Klang was also involved.

At the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab and AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Aireen Omar were on hand to greet the visitors.

Some 9,000 goodie bags were distributed to visitors at the LCCT and another 9,000 at KLIA.

Related stories:

Sabah continues to draw tourists despite incidents

International Music Festival is main attraction in Pahang

Tags / Keywords: Travel, Lifestyle, vivit malaysia year 2014/ klia/

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