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Published on : Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) President Datuk Hj Hamzah Rahmat has refuted suggestions that crime and conservative image are hurting Malaysian tourism, as pointed out by a speaker at the Global Tourism Cities Conference 2016 organised by the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Association.
Hamzah said “The Bangkok-based expatriate is experienced in the hotel and MICE business but was quoting from a website which sourced an article from another website ranking the most dangerous cities in Asia based on input by visitors to the website and software to crunch numbers. It was not produced from official statistics or comprehensive studies.”
Bert van Walbeek, managing director of The Winning Edge was reported to have said “I don’t see you as, tourism destinations, answer that perception and try to change that perception. Most of you have not even noticed these websites.”
Hamzah added “The questionable ranking was published by The Sun on April 7 and was unequivocally rebutted by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who said that it was an unfair and lopsided claim as tourists here could freely and safely walk the streets without incident. Isolated cases of a few tourists falling victims to crime does not make a city among the most dangerous in Asia”.
“Just as the world salutes Londoners for voting in their first Muslim mayor with the single largest mandate for any individual politician in British history and dumping the smear campaign against him, here in Kuala Lumpur we have a consultant who burrows a watch to tell us the time.”
“We were told that we are losing tourists from stories in the internet that one can’t drink beer in Malaysia. Obviously, the speaker does not know that licence is not required to sell beer in the country. It is available in sundry and coffee shops, and priced about the same as soft drinks in duty free islands such as Langkawi.”
“Those fancying swanky establishments can head to TREC Lifestyle and Entertainment Hub at Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur, which is a designated entertainment zone boasting 77 units of lifestyle and food and beverage outlets, including the largest club in Asia, Zouk.”
“As for safety, it is relative to the measures taken by individuals as no place on earth can be totally safe. In any city, dressed to the hilt and standing by the roadside for a long time will run the risk of being mugged or rolled over by a passing vehicle.”
“The fact is Kuala Lumpur is one of the most popular and safest cities. Thanks to common knowledge and word-of-mouth, 12 million foreign visitors are expected to visit the city this year. The last thing we need is to adopt a siege mentality and go on a defensive to counter perceived threats. Such self-fulfilling prophecy would pose a greater danger”, concluded Hamzah.