KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia must ensure it provides a conducive environment for tourists if it hopes to increase the number of visitors to the country, an MP said.
Willie Mongin (GPS-Puncak Borneo) said although he welcomed the tourism, arts, and culture ministry’s efforts to attract more visitors to the country, younger tourists might not find Malaysia to be an enticing destination.
“When we visit a foreign country, we want to enjoy ourselves and have a (good) experience but when tourists come to Malaysia, (they) can’t even swim in the pool (wearing) a bikini,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat.
He asked how Malaysia could expect to compete with other countries as an attractive tourist destination when it failed to provide a conducive environment or enjoyable experience for visitors.
Willie called on the tourism, arts, and culture ministry to “re-innovate and refresh” Malaysia’s tourist attractions in order to keep up with current developments.
He said the younger generation were no longer interested in historical or cultural tourist attractions.
Responding to this, tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing said Malaysia must learn from other countries, such as those in the Middle East, to have an open and welcoming approach to tourism.
“We can’t keep making everything a religious issue as we are a multiracial country and must learn to work together as one family,” he said, adding that he would discuss the matter with other MPs.