PARLIAMENT | Malaysia can be promoted as a wedding destination to boost tourist arrivals into the country.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said India was one of the “target countries” considering the large number of tourists from there.
"It is the tourists from India that we are targetting because we receive about 600,000 visitors from the country (yearly), and we are aiming that next year and in 2020, it can reach up to to 700,000 tourists," he said during question time at the Dewan Negara today.
He added that hotels in Langkawi were among the locations that could be promoted as wedding venues.
He was responding to a question from Senator Zaiedi Suhaili who had asked about measures taken to continue attracting foreign tourists to Malaysia.
Muhammad Bakhtiar also drew attention to the fact that Indian nationals seemed to focus on their wedding ceremonies and much of what was carried out involved elaborate entertainment and food preparation by special chefs.
Minister: Think out of the box
Meanwhile, in Johor Bahru, local tourism industry players are encouraged to have “out of the box” mindset, so they can think of more strategies to attract more tourists to the country.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi said one of the ways was through cultural exploration as it could create unique experiences for tourists.
"Industry players should ‘think out of the box’ and be different as tourists nowadays, both domestic and international, love unique and interesting aspects of tourism, arts and culture to visit," he said in his speech before officiating at the opening of Trove Hotel in the city today.
The hotel is the fourth hotel launched under Care Luxury Hotels & Resorts Management with 283 themed rooms spread across 27 floors.
Mohammaddin said last year, Malaysia received 25.9 million international tourists with a total of RM82.2 billion in tourism receipts, while 205.4 million domestic visitors were recorded with total spending by this segment amounting to RM83.1 billion.
"For the record, in 2017, Johor was ranked third among the most visited states by both foreign and domestic tourists," he said.