Monday, 11th March, 2002
Kadir To Make Strong Pitch At The Berlin Tourism Show

Berlin: In a high - pitched effort to court international tourists to Malaysia, Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir will be leading a high - powered delegation to the International Tourism Bourse.

It is regarded as the world's largest tourism show to be held here from March 16 to 20.

Kadir would be leading a delegation of 56 Malaysian participants, representing 30 hotels, 21 tour operators, four government agencies and the KL International Airport.

He will also be accompanied by a troupe of 30 dancers and musicians from the Malaysian National Theatre (Istana Budaya), undertaking a roadshow through six German cities.

Focusing on the theme "Malaysia, Truly Asia", the troupe would perform in Berlin's Intercontinental Hotel on March 17, in Hamburg's "Curio Haus" on March 18.

They will also perform in Dusseldorf's "Congress Centre" on March 20, in Frankfurt's "Saalbau Griesheim" on March 21, Stuttgart's "Messe Congress Centrum A" on March 22 and in Munich's "Arabella Grand Sheraton" on March 27.

According to the Frankfurt-based Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB), the roadshows have also been planned in a number of European cities like in Prague (March 14), Warsaw (March 15), Vienna (March 25) and Salzburg (March 26).

The regional director of the MTPB in Frankfurt, M>D> Razali has been aggressively courting tour operators and travel agents in a number of European cities and promoting Malaysia.

He has been emphasising Malaysia as a "safe and beautiful destination" with wonderful touristic attractions.

Global tourism and travel have declined sharply for two major reasons: the economic downturn in many western countries and the Sept 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Like many other destinations, Malaysia has also had its share of decline.

However, Malaysia is aggressively marketing its tourism attractions at a number of international shows.

It was a "partner country" at a recent tourism show in Stuttgart, which attracted many tour operators and travel agents.

The German tourism industry has also been hit as spending by German tourists has nosedived.
Germany is currently in the grip of a recession with an all - time high unemployment figure of 4.3 million.

Nevertheless, Malaysian tourism experts are optimistic about the future.

"We are certain that there will be a turnaround soon once the current excitement over the dangers of foreign travel abates and the economy stages a recovery from the present downturn," said a Malaysian tour operator based near Frankfurt.