Ecotourism is the major focus for promoting tourism to Malaysia this year, YB Dato Seri, the Malaysian Minister for Tourism told TTN at the ATM.
Known for its biodiversity, the country has many natural attractions.
While promoting ecotourism, the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism has been keen to ensure that it does not spoil the charm of the natural surroundings. As a step in this direction, it has recently held discussions with 24 non-governmental organisation bodies from different states in Malaysia, gathering views on the best way to execute eco-friendly ecotourism plans for the respective states.
Commenting on the growing significance of the Middle East region as a source market, the Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE Datuk Abdul Mubin Razali said that the while the region represents a small segment of the total international tourists visiting Malaysia, more tourists are expected from this region for this year, especially from the UAE.
Some 47,300 arrivals have already been registered from the region during the first three months of this year, and, he said, the total number is expected to exceed the targetted 320,000 tourists for this year. Last year, a total of 245,302 tourists from the region visited Malaysia.
Malaysia's participation at the ATM has also helped in creating an impact and wooing more people from the region to make Malaysia their holiday destination, according to him.
“The majority of tourists from the Middle East travel to Malaysia for their summer vacation, which falls between June and September. The most common travel packages include visits to the east coast states in Peninsular Malaysia as well as Sabah and Sarawak. Tourists consider Malaysia a 'value for money' destination and a suitable place for the family,” he said.
Foreign airlines are also being encouraged to provide more flights to Malaysia from the current 14 flights a week provided by Malaysia Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Air and Thai Air.