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Post-SARS tourism recovery to attract Chinese tourists

The Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry of Malaysia has drawn up a post-SARS tourism recovery strategy in efforts to increase the number of tourists from…

The Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry of Malaysia has drawn up a post-SARS tourism recovery strategy in efforts to increase the number of tourists from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to his country. Its deputy minister, Dr Ng Yen Yen, who has been appointed deputy finance minister, said that the strategy included a training programme for tourism operators and those in the front-line in China beginning next month.



The training will concentrate on Malaysia`s tourism products, safety and enchanting places in this country, she told a media conference after chairing a meeting between the ministry, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and the Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA). Under the strategy, efforts would also be made to ensure that flights operated by MAS, China Southern Airline, Xiamen Airline, China Airlines and Taiwan Airlines to Malaysia would return to almost normal by mid July, Malaysian new agency (Bernama) said quoting the minister. Dr Ng said that the ministry was aiming for an increase in the number of flights in October and expected it to be back to normal by February next year. She said that the ministry was also confident that the number of tourists from these countries to Malaysia would be improved after the region is free of SARS.



We`re very optimistic that SARS will be over soon, she said. Another strategy is to strengthen the `Mega FAM` which will focus more on a selective destination and places to attract tourists from the Mandarin-speaking countries. We will also strengthen the `Mega FAM` which would be focused, such as on shopping, islands and beaches because they (Chinese-speaking tourist) are more interested in a focus destination, she said. The number of tourists from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to the country reached almost 1 million last year. In March and April, visitors from those countries dropped by almost 90 per cent, she said.

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