KUALA LUMPUR: Tourists are already planning a second visit despite claims that Kuala Lumpur is not safe and beer consumption is banned in most places.
â€œWe are already thinking of coming back next year,â€ said first-time Scottish visitor Susan Calderhead, 43, and her husband Keith, 45.
â€œWeâ€™ve been here for three days, and have visited the KL Tower, the Petronas Twin Towers, the palace, a pewter factory, Chinatown and the Batu Caves,â€ said Keith.
â€œWeâ€™ve had a wonderful time, and everyone has been truly lovely.
â€œI did some online research before coming, and I was a bit nervous about bag-snatching and taxi drivers fleecing us, but now that we have been here for a few days, itâ€™s all been fine. In fact, we walked around town last night, perfectly confident,â€ said Susan.
Drawn to visit by Tourism Malaysia ads shown in their home country that promised an â€œexciting, modern cityâ€, the couple were not disappointed.
German tourists Sabrina Mack and Alexandra Neumeier, both 23, made Malaysia the second stop on their tour after Thailand.
â€œWe feel very comfortable here,â€ said Sabrina.
Australian engineer David Knight and his wife Alexa, 38, travelling with daughters Xanthe, 3, and one-year-old Tessa, made safety paramount.
â€œI do all the research for our trips, and my benchmark is the Australian governmentâ€™s travel advisories â€“ and there was nothing in there to concern me about Malaysia,â€ Alexa said.
â€œPeople are very friendly and helpful. When we looked lost because we werenâ€™t sure how to take the monorail to get to KLCC, someone just came up to us to help. Compared to many other countries, the English levels are very good, and that really helps travellers,â€ she said.
On Tuesday, a speaker at the Global Tourism Cities Conference 2016 said several websites claimed KL was a dangerous city, and that beer consumption was banned in the country.
One of these was worldatlas.com, which listed four Malaysian cities as among the most dangerous in Asia.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Datuk Hamzah Rahmat refuted such suggestions.
â€œObviously, the speaker does not know that a licence is not required to sell beer in the country. KL is one of the most popular, safest cities.
â€œTwelve million foreign visitors are expected to visit this year,â€ he said.