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Malaysia Confident Of Attracting 28 Million Tourists This Year

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GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia is confident of achieving the 28 million tourist target this year, with 16.1 million recorded as at July, which
is a 9.7 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, said Tourism Deputy Director-General (Promotions) Datuk Azizan Noordin.

He said despite the impact of the recent MH370 and MH17 tragedies on the country’s tourism sector, they managed to turn it around by changing the marketing strategy in July.

“There was a drop in tourists from China after the incident, therefore we focused our promotional efforts on South Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka, the Middle East and Europe,” he told reporters after the Asean Explore Quest Malaysia 2014 gala dinner here.

He said to increase the number of tourists from China, three specially chartered flights from Wuhan and Chengdu were launched from July to October in Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang, which had recorded 4,000 passengers so far.

Chinese tourists make up the third highest number in the country, with 997,300 people while Singaporeans make up the highest number with 8,236,079 people, followed by Indonesians (1,583,786 people).

Azizan is confident the numbers would increase through prestigious programmes such as the currently ongoing 1Malaysia Year End Sale in Kuala Lumpur and the International Dragon Boat Festival in Penang next month.

“Recently, some 60,000 people took part in an international marathon at the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge in Penang. This is a good development and we are excited to see the final record (of tourists) by year’s end,” he said.

He said this would help encourage 29.4 million tourists to visit Malaysia next year through Malaysia Year of Festival (MyFEST) in 2015.

Earlier, he said a total of 100 individuals including celebrities, media practitioners and tour agents from 10 Asean countries took part in a week-long tour programme in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Penang which started Nov 14.

“Some of them are radio announcers and bloggers who have their own followers and influence to promote our country,” he added.-BERNAMA

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