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Tuesday August 5, 2008
By TAN KARR WEI
MALAYSIA saw an increase in tourist arrivals for the first half of the year compared with the same period last year.
Tourism Malaysia recorded 10.9 million tourist arrivals from January to June compared with 10.7 million last year.
“The target given to us was 7%. Even though we only achieved 2%, there was still an increase in the number of tourists arriving,” Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohd Taiyab said during a press conference announcing the upcoming Malaysia International Travel Mart (MITM) Travel Fair.
Mirza said although there seemed to be fewer Middle Eastern tourists, the numbers had grown by 3%.
“Over the last four years, we have encouraged Arab tourists to go to other parts of Malaysia other than Kuala Lumpur. We also encourage them to come at other times and not only during summer,” he said.
Tourism Malaysia would be taking up 10 booths at the fair organised by the Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA).
Mirza said visitors would be able to find out more about the Xcape holiday packages that were part of the Zoom! Malaysia campaign.
This campaign aims to zero in on specific places of interest in the country to encourage people to travel within Malaysia instead of visiting other countries.
MCTA president Chay Ng said almost 75% of the products at the fair would focus on domestic and inbound tourism.
Tourism organisations from Turkey, Uzbekistan, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Africa, China and Hangzhou would also take part.
A new attraction this year would be the bridal corner and soon-to-be-wed couples and newlyweds can check out honeymoon packages.
The fair will be on from Aug 15 to 17 at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, from 10am to 9pm.
Entrance fee is RM3 per entry for adults. Senior citizens and children under 12 enter free.
For more information, visit www.mcta.com.my.
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