ATTRACTING TOURISTS TO SMALL TOWNS
Tourism Malaysia to promote these areas in China, says Zahid
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.