Malaysia to draw 8M Chinese tourists annually

January 29, 2016 7:53 am 

ALOR GAJAH, Jan. 28 — Malaysia has set the target to draw annually from china over the next five years eight million tourists with RM22.1 billion spending power, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the figure of eight million would seem huge compared to the 1.3 million Chinese tourists who visit Malaysia annually now, but it was not impossible to attain with proper planning and effective promotion.

"The RM22.1 billion spending power may seem very big but it is not impossible to garner because each Chinese tourist spends on the average RM3,345 now on food, lodging and shopping," he said when opening the Freeport A'Famosa Outlet that offers fashion, sport and accessories brands.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and A'Famosa Group managing director Datuk Alex Lau were also present at the event.

Ahmad Zahid said that though Malaysia recorded a large number of tourist arrivals last year, the government wanted to focus on attracting tourists from certain countries over the next five years.

He said most drastic measures must be taken to draw tourists to Malaysia because tourist spending in the country would have an immediate positive effect on the national economy.

"Our country, like our regional neighbors and others, depends on the production and sale of petroleum for its revenue, and has suffered a drastic drop in revenue and economic growth.

"As such, the presence of tourists with their spending power will give an immediate effect to national economic growth because we find that their spending habit has a positive impact on the economy of our country," he said.

Ahmad Zahid said relevant agencies such as Tourism Malaysia would be assisted to obtain supplementary allocations in the effort to enhance the national tourism sector.

The supplementary allocations were important to step up tourism advertisement and promotional activities, he said, adding that these efforts were seen as necessary to raise the national revenue more effectively.

Ahmad Zahid said every sen of the allocations to enhance the tourism sector should be expended effectively and towards improving the national economy.

He also said that Malaysians who were icons abroad, such as singer-songwriter, actress and record producer Shila Amzah who is based in Hong Kong, China, were seen as having great potential to help promote the country's tourism industry.

He said Malaysia gave ample room for private tourism entrepreneurs but they had to be given assistance, particularly by tourism agencies such as Tourism Malaysia.

"It is hoped that tourism-related agencies will also promote other states abroad, without solely depending on the state governments to do this, because everything is for the good of the Malaysian tourism sector," he said.

Ahmad Zahid praised the Melaka government for its efforts which resulted in the state registering over 15 million tourist arrivals last year. (PNA/Bernama)

JBP/CDN

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