KUALA LUMPUR: The rise of global terrorism will not dampen the tourism industry, said the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Jean-Claude Baumgarten believed the industry would show enough resilience and continue to flourish in the face of incidents such as the bombings in Jakarta and Bali.
I think the best victory we can show to terrorism is that millions, despite all that is happening around them, still choose to travel, he told reporters at the World Tourism Day Symposium at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel here yesterday.
Baumgarten, who is from France, also encouraged Malaysia to adopt more initiatives, such as ventures into sports tourism, so that it could be considered a dynamic destination for international travellers.
Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia was looking into tapping the RM4.9tril global sports tourism industry.
The ministry had set a target of achieving a one-per cent market share in six years' time, he told reporters after launching the symposium.
He cited leisure sports such as golf and international events like the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix and Le Tour de Langkawi as examples of the potential the sports tourism industry had of becoming a major source of revenue for the country.
Ahmad Zahid also said the ministry hoped to increase the tourism sector's share of the gross domestic product from the current nine per cent to double digits.
We will continue to coordinate with sporting bodies to create new tourism products and expand the industry to attract more tourists from overseas, he added.