LANGKAWI: A high-powered committee to promote Kuala Lumpur as a tourism venue will be set up jointly by the Tourism Ministry and the Federal Territories Ministry.
A co-chairman would be appointed from the two ministries to spearhead activities to promote Kuala Lumpur as a tourism hub and to look into setting up more infrastructure to complement such a move.
Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique said the world was now recognising Kuala Lumpur as a tourism venue and as such more convention centres, better transportation systems, hotels and various infrastructure would have to be in place.
He said the ministry, entrusted with three federal territories namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, would require a bigger allocation.
“On the sidelines of the Asean Tourism Forum, Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad has agreed in principle to provide a bigger allocation for tourism development particularly for Putrajaya and Labuan,” Zulhasnan told a press conference at Andaman Langkawi after a lunch hosted by Kuala Lumpur City Hall for Asean Tourism Ministers yesterday.
He said Kuala Lumpur had been enjoying a RM1mil allocation for tourism development through the Tourism Action Council.
Zulhasnan said Kuala Lumpur, the heartbeat of Malaysia, has now been dubbed as a Festivities City where it has seen exciting festivities staged such as the Cultural and Arts Festival, Mega Sales Carnival, KL August Festival, French Music Festival, Food Festival and Orchestral Music Festival.
And from March 18 to 20, he said, the Kuala Lumpur Grand Prix City Festival would be held in conjunction with the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.
“KL has what it takes to be one of Asean’s best tourist destinations,” he said.
Sepang International Circuit chairman Datuk Mokhzani Tun Dr Mahathir, who was also present, said the Grand Prix was a tourist puller and expected businesses in Kuala Lumpur to benefit a lot from it.
He hoped that tour operators would take advantage of the race to introduce tour packages to coincide with the Grand Prix.
“Tours to various destinations such as Langkawi can be attractively packaged three or four days before and after the race,” he said.
On whether the tsunami incident could affect turnout, Mokhzani said on the contrary the Grand Prix could be used as a platform for Malaysia to reposition itself and clear any doubts or wrong perceptions of the incident.
Malaysia was the least-affected among the Asean countries hit by the tsunami.
Mokhzani said a F1 Gala Dinner will also be held to raise funds for tsunami victims.
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