Wooing tourists from Hong Kong
Tourism Malaysia is working on growing its share of the north-east Asia market with plans to draw more arrivals from Japan and Hong Kong. -NST
BEIJING, CHINA: Tourism Malaysia is working on growing its share of the north-east Asia market with plans to draw more arrivals from Japan and Hong Kong.
Currently, Chinese tourists were the biggest group from the region, many of whom were going abroad for holidays for the first time.
Tourism Malaysia international promotion director for North and East Asia Wan Zawawi Mohamed said a promotion on Malaysia's gastronomy and spa delights was launched in Taiwan recently and was well received by tour agents there.
"We need to revitalise our Japan and Hong Kong markets. Tourists from these two countries are well-travelled.
"We need to look at more up-market products to cater to luxury lifestyles and offer interesting homestays."
Prudent government spending would not affect promotions, said Wan Zawawi, who attended the three-day Beijing International Tourism Expo, which ended on Saturday.
"We will adjust to get the most from what we are spending. We are not going to spread ourselves thinly because in key markets like China, we must remain in sight."
Lee Tham Chai of Mayflower Acme Tours Sdn Bhd said the private sector still needs the government to take the lead in promotions.
"Tourism Malaysia can take the macro lead, tour operators will do the micro details. On our own, we cannot afford to do so much of promotion."
Resorts World Bhd senior vice-president for sales and marketing Paul Chan said it was confident that its Genting hill resort would continue to draw mainland Chinese tourists even as more new markets, the latest being the United States and Taiwan, are opened to them.
"Even if the stock market is slow, a section of the population will still be able to afford holidays abroad. The market here is just so big," he said.
Chan said an average of 300,000 Chinese tourists went to Genting Highlands last year, the second largest group after Singaporeans.
"India is also growing fast. We had about 250,000 Indian tourists last year," he added.
Meanwhile, over a million stalks of flowers will be used during this year's Malaysia Flora Fest to be held from July 4 to Aug 3 nationwide.
Pahang Tourism Action Council general manager Idros Yahya said the annual event to promote the rich floral heritage was a boon to Cameron Highlands -- the country's biggest flower producer.
"The occasion calls for lots of flowers to be used as each float requires 30,000 to 100,000 fresh flowers. In total, about 1.4 million stalks will be needed," he said yesterday.
The floral float parade will be held on July 26 in Johor Baru.
"Several countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau and Japan are also expected to participate in the parade."
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