MATTA News

NO CHANGE TO TOURIST TARGET

KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism Ministry will not adjust its tourist arrival target despite a bleak outlook for the tourism sector in the wake of the twin disasters in Japan and the political upheavals in the Middle East.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said she was optimistic of achieving the target of 25 million tourists to Malaysia this year, one million more than the 24 million visitors recorded last year.

“We are still aiming for 25 million visitors this year although we expect a drop in tourists from certain countries,” she said after the official launch of Millennia City, a residential-cum-commercial waterfront development, here yesterday.

Dr Ng said the ministry would re-look at the source countries rather than revise the tourist arrival target.

The ministry was anticipating fewer Japanese tourists due to the earthquake and tsunami there.

Some 500,000 Japanese visited Malaysia last year, she said.

However, South-East Asian countries, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and Britain were potential tourism markets as they were stable and had no negative factors, she added.

Dr Ng said the Government was also looking at boosting domestic tourism.

“We expect 100 million domestic trips this year. We received over RM25bil in receipts last year from domestic tourism,” she said.

In another development, Dr Ng said the business tourism in the country was only 5% of the total receipts last year and the Government was focusing on increasing it to 8% by 2020.

Source from http://thestar.com.my/