Tourism Malaysia to pro­mote these ar­eas in China, says Zahid

New Straits Times - - News - NU­RUL HAZREN MASITOM HONG KONG nu­

SMALL towns across the coun­try will be pro­moted as new at­trac­tions for tourists from China. Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi said Tourism Malaysia em­barked on the plan to ex­pand the tourism sec­tor.

Zahid said there may be short­com­ings, such as the lack of ac­cess to such ar­eas, but with the right ap­proach they had promis­ing po­ten­tial.

“Our at­trac­tions are not lim­ited to the main ci­ties in Malaysia,” he said in a brief­ing for the Malaysian me­dia here.

“I have dis­cussed with sev­eral low-cost car­ri­ers to ven­ture to cer­tain des­ti­na­tions based on the num­ber of vis­i­tors to Malaysia.

“There are some new des­ti­na­tions that can be ex­ploited be­cause there are many Chi­nese tourists who like the trop­i­cal forests and beaches.”

Zahid said the China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CNTA), a gov­ern­ment depart­ment that looks af­ter tourism in China, could also help in this.

“The CNTA would nor­mally sug­gest to tourists where they could go and this is where they could help,” he said.

Present at the brief­ing were Malaysian con­sul gen­eral to Hong Kong and Ma­cau Datuk Tengku Si­ra­juz­za­man Tengku Mo­hamed Arif­fin and con­sul Grace Re­bekah Teh.

The new plan to at­tract more tourists from China, es­pe­cially from the Special Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion here, fol­lows the sign­ing of the Asean-Hong Kong-China Free Trade Agree­ment in Manila on Sun­day.

Ear­lier, Zahid said up to Oct 31, a to­tal of 1.8 mil­lion tourists from China, ex­clud­ing Hong Kong and Ma­cau, had vis­ited Malaysia .

Zahid, how­ever, said he was op­ti­mistic the num­ber would in­crease in the next two years, es­pe­cially among high-spend­ing tourists in light of the Visit Malaysia 2020 pro­mo­tion that would be car­ried out.

“Tourism Malaysia will be work­ing closely with CNTA, es­pe­cially on the trans­porta­tion net­work in the form of sched­uled or char­tered flights.”

On busi­ness tourism, Zahid said the Meet­ings, In­cen­tives, Con­ven­tions and Ex­hi­bi­tion sec­tor would need to step up its pro­mo­tions, as early as three or four years in ad­vance for more im­pact.


Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi speak­ing in Hong Kong yes­ter­day.

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