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Published on : Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, the Tourism and Culture Minister asserted that in 2017, Malaysia is confident of achieving a large number of tourists from India, at the inaugural ceremony of South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), Delhi, on Tuesday evening.
Nazri said that the target was quite ambitious.
However, he added that the target was ‘achievable’ thanks to the complete support of their partners in the Indian travel industry. The three-day SATTE travel fair had commenced on Wednesday. It was jointly opened by Mahesh Sharma who is the Indian Minister of State for Tourism and Culture and also Mohamed Nazri.
The visiting Malaysian delegation comprises officials from the Tourism and Culture Ministry, Tourism Malaysia, members of the travel industry and the state representatives.
India ranks as the sixth largest source of tourists for Malaysia with 722,141 Indian travellers recorded in 2015.
Malaysia received about 54,0530 Indian tourists in the period between January and October last year, as per the latest statistics. Furthermore, this country has relaxed its visa procedures to strengthen tourism in 2017. Last year, the government had introduced an e-visa facility that enables the issuance of single-entry visas within 24 to 48 hours.
Of late, Malaysia has also announced that Indian nationals who reside abroad would be granted visa-free travel.
Such a measure is targeted at the greater number of non-resident Indians based in regions like North America, Australia, Britain, Singapore and the Arabian Gulf nations.
The country has in place a brilliant program for destination marketing with a view to impress travellers from India.
The minister went on to add that India has been viewed as a crucial market for Malaysia. The largest Indian diaspora living abroad actually stay in Malaysia and they are the most important ambassadors who has good potential promote Malaysia to the world.
Mohamed Nazri also mentioned that Malaysia is ready to focus on sustainable tourism.
In addition, the nation has already offered niche products to Indian tourists including destination weddings, honeymoons, sports tourism, luxury travel and shopping. He feels that Malaysia is a unique country as it is blessed with many heritage sites and natural charm, apart from its four Malaysian sites that are recognized by UNESCO.
He said that there is the Kinabalu National Park, Gunung Mulu Naitonal Park in Sarawak and Kinabalu National Park in Sabah, as well as the archaeological heritage site of the Lenggong Valley.