KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Malaysia is optimistic the target of 36 million tourist arrivals can be achieved by year-end, looking at this year’s positive growth, said its director-general Mirza Mohammad Taiyab.
He said tourist arrivals had increased 3.5 per cent for the first quarter of this year as compared with the same period last year, adding that arrivals from China, Thailand and Singapore had shown a continuous increase.
“We are confident that it will continue to increase, especially after the introduction of the electronic visa and the electronic travel registration and information last March,” he told a press conference organised to introduce 18 finalists of the Miss Malaysia Tourism Pageant 2016, now being held, here, until Aug 31.
The pageant will see winners of the categories of Miss Malaysia Tourism, Miss Malaysia Tourism Queen of The Year and Miss Malaysia Tourism Metropolitan, represent Malaysia at the Miss Tourism International Pageant World Finals, at end of this year.
Mirza said Tourism Malaysia was also cooperating closely with AirAsia, Malindo Air, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines to make proper use of their networks to encourage tourist arrivals to the country.
In addition, Tourism Malaysia was also targeting for an increase of tourist arrivals for business and was now in the midst of venturing into that particular market to subsequently transform Malaysia into a business travel hub in Asia.
“The target can be achieved as our country has always shown positive growth, besides being in a strategic location, and having good facilities which are suitable for the sector.
“However, we need to be prepared for the challenges to attract tourists to the country following security-related incidents that occurred in the neighbouring countries,” he added.