Amidst MH370 crisis Malaysia allays fears for tourism
Despite worldwide concerns on whereabouts of a flight with 239 passengers on board, Tourism Malaysia went ahead with its road show to attract more Indian tourists. Four city roadshow started from Kochi on 12th March and ended at New Delhi on 20th March 2014. Although it was a scaled down effort, owing to impending situation- mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on Saturday 8th March, with no signs whatsoever so far, even after two weeks. Malaysian tourism minister was himself to attend the event but he had to skip.
A few trade visits have been cancelled from India after the incident, but Tourism Malaysia Director General Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab dismissed possibility of major impact on tourism arrivals in Malaysia. Malaysia is actually celebrating its fourth Visit Malaysia Year in 2014. India tourists are among top 10 of incoming tourists in Malaysia. Malaysia has been very popular among Indian tourists. This year almost 8 lakh Indian tourists are expected to visit Malaysia.
Malaysia is popular as a dream travel destination all along the world. It is among the top 10 most visited countries in the world and second in Asia after China. Malaysia was also ranked no 1 in homestay programmes by UNWTO. What may attract shoppers about Malaysia is the fact that whole of Malaysia offers duty free shopping except for three items- cigarettes, liquor and crystals. If this is not enough, it can be interesting to know that among the top 10 largest shopping complexes in the world, three are located in Malaysia. On the Globe Shopper Index for 2012 Malaysia was ranked as 2nd in Asia-Pacific region. CNN survey 2012 also declared Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur as 4th best shopping city in the world.
Well shopping is not the only reason to be in Malaysia. It is the only country in Asia to be listed in Top 10 of Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014. Penang has also been named as the top culinary spot in the world for 2014. CNN’s list of World’s 100 best beaches for 2013 included three from Malaysia- Perhentian Kecil island, Terengganu at No 13, Juara Beach in Tioman island, Pahand at no 21 and TanjungRhu in Langkawi, Kedah at no 49.