Wednesday, 1 January 2014

'Public transport vital for tourism'

VISIT MALAYSIA YEAR 2014: New website also launched to provide information on places of interest in country

SEPANG: A MORE systematic public transport structure is needed to accommodate Visit Malaysia Year 2014 (VMY 2014), which aims to draw 28 million foreigners.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said a better public transport system was crucial as it was a vital aspect in the tourism industry.
"This is why proper measures and efforts should be put in place to ensure that public transportation is at an optimal level.
"We need to improve its quality through better offers and services to attract more foreign tourists."
Nazri said this during a press conference after launching the Matta-VMY 2014 programme at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA ) here yesterday.
He said the ministry had forged strong cooperation between public transport authorities and Matta (Malaysian Association Of Tours And Travel Agents) to resolve related issues.
Present were Matta president Hamzah Rahmat and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid
Nazri also launched the www.discovermalaysia.com.my website that caters to tourists who need information about the country's attractions.
He lauded Matta for assisting the ministry in making VMY 2014 a successful campaign.
When asked about last night's anti-government rally in Kuala Lumpur, he said the organisers should not hold such activities during a celebration as it spoiled the enjoyment of others.
He said the country would benefit if protesters rallied at a more appropriate time.
"Then we can show foreigners our healthy democracy where people can protest and not be arrested."
In Ipoh, Perak's tourism industry has set a target of attracting more than five million tourists in conjunction with VMY 2014.
Perak Tourism chief executive officer Aida Hazlyn Hassan said the state had initiated wide-ranging promotional strategies over the last several months to draw more tourists.
Aida highlighted efforts to directly target the vast European and Singaporean tourism markets.
"Working together with Tourism Malaysia, we took part in October's Travel Malaysia event in Singapore as well as November's World Travel Market in London.
"Approaching these markets can boost the state' tourism industry as we will be able to directly promote the state's many attractions."
She said the recent launch of a state tourism website, social media pages and a mobile application launched in September allowed users to find more information on Perak attractions.
"A Tourism Perak video titled Discover Perak will highlight the state's culinary attractions.
"We hope this will be aired on programmes such as Astro's Asian Food Channel in the near future."
Some 37 events have been planned for the 2014 tourism calendar, in addition to smaller events by local authorities and agencies. Other events will attract tourists to the Royal Belum Rainforest and Pangkor island.
In Kuala Terengganu, Bernama reported that the state, after having registered four million tourist arrivals during Visit Terengganu Year 2013, wants to attract five million tourists during VMY 2014.
State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee said the state expected 35 per cent of the tourist arrivals to be from abroad.
"We are prepared for the influx of tourists. We have 9,729 rooms to accommodate the five million tourists in a year," he said after officiating at the pre-launch of VMY 2014 here.
Jidin said the state had drawn up 22 r national and international activities for next year.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz placing the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 sticker on a vehicle after launching the Matta-VMY 2014 programme at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday. At right is Matta president Hamzah Rahmat. Pic by Mohd Fadli Hamzah

By A. AZIM IDRIS AND LOGHUN KUMARAN


Source : NST online, 1 Jan 2014