Coming home — a photo captured by Dr Badaruddin. — Photos by NORAFIFI EHSAN
TAYLOR’S University and the Responsible Rural Tourism Network (RRTN) have launched “Colours of the Wind: Malaysia Rural Tourism” exhibition at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (Matic) Art Gallery, in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
It features more than 100 photos of rural areas all over Malaysia, snapped by the researchers from RRTN.
The images have been compiled into a book titled Colours of the Wind, which was launched on the same day.
“Rural tourism is seen as one of the potential segments to boost the tourism industry further up the value chain,” said Tourism and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general Rashidi Hasbullah.
He said rural tourism could bring considerable economic and social benefits, through the revenue and infrastructural developments it would generate for the marginal and less economically developed regions.
“Rural tourism is about experience; it shows the other side of Malaysia, and people will be willing to pay for that unique experience.
“The Tourism and Culture Ministry will be glad to provide support with regards to developing rural tourism destinations,” he added.
The number of international tourist arrivals grew from 25.03 million in 2012 to 25.72 million in 2013.
In terms of tourist receipts, Malaysia recorded RM65.44bil for the year 2013, representing a growth of RM4.89bil or 8.1% and exceeding the initial target of RM65bil.
“We are positive that we will achieve our target of 28 million tourists, with a receipt of RM76bil for the year 2014, even though we have faced a few big challenges this year,” said Rashidi.
The “Colours of the Wind: Malaysia Rural Tourism” exhibition, ending on June 20, is open to the public. Matic is in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free.