Friday, January 21, 2011

Malaysia makes staggering tourism gains

Malaysia will achieve around 26 million visitors in 2010 with an estimated revenue of RM19.7 billion, the country’s deputy minister of tourism, James Dawos Mamit, claimed during a media briefing, Thursday, at the ASEAN tourism Forum.
Admitting they were provisional figures the deputy minster noted the official data for arrivals and revenue for January to September confirmed the country was on target with RM18.2 million arrivals and earnings of RM13.12 billion during the first nine months.
Official figures for that period indicate the four top markets were Singapore 9.650,663 tourist arrivals, Indonesia 1,842,277, Thailand 1,090,829 and China 830,000.
Bullish about the future, he talked about long-term plans that will raise Malaysia to “developed nation status” by 2020 when tourist arrivals could reach a staggering 36 million and revenue of RM56 billion.
Despite his emphasis on tourist arrivals, he claimed the country  placed more importance on sustainable, eco-friendly tourism that included offering financial incentives and awards to companies that specialised in eco-tourism projects.
Homestay projects too are a priority this year with Tourism Malaysia claiming the market has strong appeal in Japan where bookings for this kind of accommodation  increased 17%.

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