He said the state anticipates a further increase this year with more cruise liners docking at the Melaka Marina port.
“Cruise liners are an additional boost for the state as tourism arrival figures are projected to grow higher this year.
“We expect a number of vessels with higher capacity of passengers to arrive in Melaka with the RM7mil Federal Government funding to deepen the 500m oceanic floor fronting the port to a depth of 4m,” he said in an interview.
Zairi said the port, which started operations last October, was now the top destination for cruises with 60 cruise liners stopping over in Melaka.
He said Chief Minister Adly Zahari was also looking to attract more than 100 cruise liners plying the Straits of Malacca to stop over at the port.
“We are able to reach above the projected 20mil tourist arrivals in the state with this positive development,” he said.
Zairi said global analytics reports showed that the world cruise tourism market was poised to grow this year.
He added that the growth was mainly due to the trend of globetrotters preferring to explore tourism destinations via the sea. – By RSN MURALI
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