September 14, 2010 at 9:58 am
Strong cooperation and friendship between Malaysia and China has paid dividends in the form of continued growth in trade and tourism.
This has led China to overtake Thailand into becoming the third largest tourist market for Malaysia, after Singapore and Indonesia.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said, last year alone, a million Chinese tourists visited Malaysia, an increase by 7.4 per cent as compared to the previous year.
“Malaysia attracted 23.6 million tourists to Malaysia last year, and we are now placed ninth in the world tourism branding.
“The China market is important to us for its quantity and quality…We are targeting 1.2 million Chinese tourists this year.
“Tourism Malaysia has changed its strategy accordingly, to attract high- yield Chinese tourists who will stay for five days or more, and those who visit frequently,” she said, adding that as China had become more prosperous, Chinese tourists were now eyeing quality and luxury vacations overseas.
She was speaking to the media after officiating Malaysia Pavillion Day Celebration at the Shanghai EXPO Centre here Sunday.
Dr Ng was representing Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak at the event.
She said the ministry was in the midst of introducing focus packaging and do away with general sight-seeing tour packages which include Singapore and Thailand.
Tour packages have been re-designed and re-packaged to suit the Chinese tourists coming to Malaysia for shopping, delicious food, cultural heritage and adventure.
“China’s tour operators are asked to develop focus products, such as to attract clans and associations and companies to hold annual gatherings and conventions in Malaysia, under the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions concept for tourism,” said the minister
Apart from famous Malaysian pop singer Michael Wong (Guang Liang), renowned Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Datuk Ooi Chean See has also been appointed Tourism Goodwill Ambassador for Germany and Europe to lure tourists, she added.
Ooi works with the equally-renowned Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, having put together a unique orchestral performance at the Shanghai Concert Hall, in conjunction with Malaysia’s 53rd independence anniversary celebrations here Sunday night.