Tuesday, 9th April, 2002
250,000 West Asian Tourist Are Expected

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia is expected to register some 250,000 tourist arrivals from west Malaysia this year, doubling the 113,000 registered last year, said Culture, Art and Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir Monday.

The increase is a result of an extensive promotional drive by the Ministry since the past three years, which already led to an annual increase of 100 percent per annum for this group of tourist, he said.

The expected big jump had a little to do with the West Asian tourists turning to Malaysia as they become uneasy about traveling to Western countries in the aftermath of the Sept 11 attacks on the United States, he said.

"It's not due to the Sept 11 event but because we feel they are now beginning to know Malaysia better due to the extensive campaign," he told a media conference held to announce the tourist events to be organized in conjunction with the friendly match between Malaysia and Brazil's World Cup team scheduled for May 25, this year.

Apart from participation in road shows to promote Malaysia, Abdul Kadir said that this Ministry had produced travel brochures and video compact discs (VCD) in Arabic to lure these tourists who normally flock to Malaysia in from July to August.

He also said that events like the Brazil-Malaysia football match and the recently held Indian International Film Academy Awards had served to attract foreign tourist to Malaysia.