Asian na­tion banks on events to at­tract tourists

The Morning Bulletin - - TRAVEL -

MALAYSIA wants more tourists and, in a bid to at­tract 31.8 mil­lion vis­i­tors this year, the coun­try’s gov­ern­ment has lined up a num­ber of events to help meet the 2017 tar­get. From un­usual cul­tural fes­ti­vals to adren­a­line-charged out­door events, the aim is to in­crease the vis­i­tors to the coun­try by 4.3% over the 2016 numbers.

Malaysia’s tourism and cul­ture deputy min­is­ter Datuk Mas Er­miey­ati Sam­sudin said the gov­ern­ment aimed to at­tract Aussies to the three states of Pa­hang, Perak and Terengganu.

Terengganu, for in­stance, will host the In­ter­na­tional Eco and Marine Tourism Con­fer­ence in Oc­to­ber and the Sounds of Terengganu Mu­si­cal Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber. These are only two of many events sched­uled for 2017.

With Malaysia’s to­tal tourism ex­pen­di­ture this year ex­pected to to­tal about $35.6 bil­lion, Terengganu State is es­pe­cially keen to en­sure its share of rev­enue in­creases.

The state prides it­self on its cul­ture, beaches, jun­gle and other nat­u­ral won­ders. There are ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions to suit ev­ery bud­get. Terengganu is bank­ing on the idea that when­ever Aussies visit, there will be an ap­peal.

Of­ten over­looked in favour of the Malay Penin­sula’s bet­ter-known western states, Terengganu is home to some of Malaysia’s most sub­lime and un­spoiled beaches, not to men­tion the idyl­lic Per­hen­tian Is­lands. Its Visit Beau­ti­ful Terengganu 2017 cam­paign is ex­pected to draw about 5.6 mil­lion vis­i­tors to the state this year, from which it hopes to gen­er­ate an es­ti­mated $1.4 bil­lion in tourism rev­enue.

But the deputy min­is­ter also said all three des­ti­na­tions were ap­peal­ing in their own right.

For the trav­eller look­ing ahead of the curve, the three des­ti­na­tions of­fer un­par­al­leled op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pe­ri­ence an au­then­tic Malaysia still rel­a­tively un­touched by main­stream tourism, mak­ing them among the coun­try’s best-kept se­crets.

In a coun­try where tourism is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to GDP there is no doubt that greater tourist ar­rivals will not only be of sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit to each of these states and lo­cal tourism oper­a­tors, but will also pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant fil­lip to Malaysia’s na­tional econ­omy.

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