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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    18 May 2012

Malaysia ninth in global tourism rankings

18 May, 2012

Thousands of international tourists have experienced Malaysia’s wonders through Tourism Malaysia’s successful Mega Familiarisation (Mega Fam) programme since 2000, said officials of the programme.

Malaysia has been ranked as the ninth most visited country in the world for three consecutive years.

The Mega Fam had helped create higher exposure and awareness of Malaysia in the international arena as a top tourism destination for leisure and business, said acting director-general of the programme Azizan Noordin.

Noordin said tourism was the country’s second largest foreign exchange earner, receiving 58.3 billion ringgit (US$18.608) through 24.7 million tourist arrivals last year.

He said a total of 163 participants, comprising travel agents, journalists as well as TV and radio crew from 22 countries, including South Korea, Japan, Iran, China and the United States, were present this year for the 14th Colours of 1Malaysia event.

Azizan said visiting Malaysia was like “visiting several different countries in one go”.

“There are the peaceful islands where you can rent a basic beach-fronting chalet for as little as US$20 and enjoy diving and snorkelling activities.

“There are also jungles where you can trek for days into the interior and enjoy being at one with nature. We have some amazing wildlife in Malaysia, including elephants, orang utan and rhinoceros,” he said.

Other local offerings, he said, included the Malaysian homestay programme in the countryside, cave and jungle exploration as well as an international shopping experience at relatively affordable prices.

Azizan also referred to the famous Malaysian hospitality, telling the participants: “I am sure that as you travel within Malaysia for your programme, you too will meet your fair share of open-hearted Malaysians.”

Colours of 1Malaysia will kick off at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. and will feature stalls selling local cuisine and a parade themed “The Greatest Tourism Parade”.

The 1.5km long parade will begin from Jalan Raja and will end at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

The month-long event will consist of 11 segments including sports tourism, 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism and Fabulous Food 1Malaysia.

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