Malaysia aims for 50,000 UAE tourists

The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board has announced that it aims to reach the
50,000 mark - for the number of UAE tourists visiting Malaysia in a year - in 2007.The announcement came as it unveiled details of a strategic partnership with Singapore Airlines to
promote a special travel package for the UAE’s residents, in line with the ‘Visit
Malaysia Year 2007’ campaign launched earlier this year.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference held at the Grand Hyatt
Hotel, during which senior officials from the MTPB expressed their optimism
regarding significant growth in the number of Middle East tourists in 2007, and
mentioned that they are well on track to attract a total of 300,000 tourists from
the region by the end of this year.

As part of the MTPB’s regional campaign to boost the country’s tourism industry,
Singapore Airlines has introduced a specially-designed three days / two nights
holiday package to three prime destinations in Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur, Penang and
Langkawi - at competitive prices starting from AED 1,490/-. Malaysia is one of
Singapore Airline’s top-selling destinations, and the airline is targeting to
promote this special holiday package in Dubai from October to November 2007.
Moreover, the airline has worked closely with the MTPB to come up with a package
that specifically caters to the preferences of Dubai’s residents. 

“Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage and natural attractions have made it one of the
favorite destinations for tourists all over the world, and taken Malaysia’s tourism
industry growth to new heights,” said Tuan Razali Tuan Omar, Director, MTPB. “In the
UAE alone, we have experienced an overwhelming growth of 22.2 per cent from last
year, a figure we intend to better this year with our efforts to target Dubai’s
residents who have always fancied a holiday in Malaysia. Through our partnership
with Singapore Airlines, we hope to make their trip to Malaysia very pleasant,
comfortable and more importantly affordable.”

Malaysia attracted a multitude of tourists from the Middle East, with numbers rising
up to more than 180,000 in 2006 prior to the launch of ‘Visit Malaysia Year (VMY)
2007’, and this year around 300,000 tourists from the region are expected to visit
the country. Exciting theme parks and awe-inspiring natural wonders such as Sunway
Lagoon and Genting Highlands, the pristine beaches in Langkawi and Penang, along
with a choice of luxurious shopping malls, are some of the attractions that await
tourists in this culturally-affluent country.


Speaking at the press conference, MeowSeng Lim, General Manager Gulf, Singapore
Airlines, said, “Our partnership with the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board brings us
closer to our goal of providing people with a more personal and relaxing travel
experience. With our desire to offer the best vacation experience possible, we have
introduced specially made Holiday Packages, which will make the Malaysia escapade
all the more appealing to a wider range of vacationers.”

“The specially designed package includes Return Air Ticket, Hotel Accommodation,
Airport/Hotel transfers, Daily American Breakfast, Complimentary Ticket for Eye on
Malaysia and a host of other benefits offered through Singapore Airlines Boarding
Pass Privileges. Singapore Airlines Boarding Pass opens up a wealth of privileges
for the travelers by simply presenting their Boarding Pass at over 300 locations for
discounts on shopping, dining, tourist attractions and transport services. Boarding
Pass Privileges is available in two cities in Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur & Penang. We
are positive that Malaysia’s vast array of tourist attractions, and the hospitality
and warmth of its people, will be key factors that will continuously draw visitors
from countries such as UAE,” added Lim.

This month, Singapore Airlines will make aviation history as the First Airline to
take delivery of and operate the world’s first double-decker aircraft, the Airbus
A380.  SIA operates 10 Non-stop weekly flights from Dubai to Singapore and 3 weekly
non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Singapore with convenient connections to 5 cities
in Malaysia.

Malaysia’s exciting roster of events scheduled for the year is also expected to
attract visitors from the UAE. On top of the list is the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand
Prix, a World Championship event that will feature world-renowned bikers such as
Valentino Rossi (Italy), Casey Stoner (Australia), and Randy de Puniet (France). Set
to take place at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor, from October 19 to
21, 2007, the much-anticipated event in the racing scene is expected to attract more
than 50,000 spectators from around the globe. Other exciting events lined-up for
2007 include the ‘Malaysia International Gourmet Festival’ which is set to take
place from November 2 to 29, 2007 and will gather the world’s best chefs and offer
their distinct menus in Malaysia’s finest restaurants. In addition, the ‘Year End
Sale Carnival’, a month-long retail extravaganza, scheduled from December 01, 2007
to January 01, 2008, which will see participation from 200 international shopping malls all over the country.

“On top of the natural and man-made wonders our country has to offer, it is the
charm of the people and the festive events, which draws more and more tourists to
Malaysia each year. The ‘Visit Malaysia Year 2007’ campaign has been an amazing
success, and we expect to continue reaping the fruits of our efforts until the end
of the year,” concluded Omar.