KUALA LUMPUR: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) may have its origins in Asia with Malaysia among the affected countries, but SARS-free Holland is still out to woo Malaysian tourists.
Starting today, the Dutch Embassy will hold a nine-day Window on Holland 2003 here to generate interest in the country.
The multi-faceted fiesta, to be launched tomorrow by Kuala Lumpur Datuk Bandar Datuk Mohammad Shaid Mohd Taufek at Suria KLCC, would be the first such effort by the embassy and the Malaysian Dutch Business Council.
Dutch Ambassador to Malaysia John von Muhlen said the situation in countries affected by SARS should not be generalised, noting that there were few cases here.
He was optimistic that the health authorities were responding well to the problem, adding that his confidence stemmed from the briefings and information received.
He urged Malaysians and the Dutch to visit each other's countries.
There have been no (SARS) cases reported so far in Holland and people should not be too alarmed (over the SARS cases here).
Malaysians and the Dutch should continue with their interchange (visiting each others countries), he said in an interview.
Traditionally, he added, there had been more Dutch visitors here than Malaysians going over to Holland.
The nice thing about Malaysia is that yours is a country that can be visited all year round and it is also large enough to be a single destination for our travellers.
According to von Muhlen, a group of Dutch students would visit Malaysia in conjunction with the event, which would incorporate a film festival, musical nights, a culinary fest and business dimensions.
Highlights include Holland Pavilion at the Suria KLCC centre concourse from today until May 3 and the Holland-Malaysia Business Seminar on Tuesday at the Mandarin Oriental with acclaimed Dutch singer Laura Fygi performing at a gala dinner.
There will also be the Taste of Holland food promotion at the Mandarin Oriental from tomorrow until Tuesday, An Enchanting Evening of Dutch Guitar Music concert at the City Hall Auditorium tomorrow and Week of the Best Dutch Films at the Tanjung Golden Village Cinema at Suria KLCC from tomorrow.
For enquiries, call 03-21686262/42523958.