Malaysia to see 36 million tourists in 2020

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Malaysia to see 36 million tourists in 2020
Visitors to Nami Island sampling teh tarik during the Naturally Langkawi @ Korea exhibition.

GEORGE TOWN - Some 36 million tourists are expected to spend their vacation in the country in 2020, contributing around RM168bil (S$65.7 billion) to the economy, says Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

"A major portion of that revenue will come from the retail sector, as shopping is the second biggest contributor of tourist spending after accommodation, accounting for 38 per cent of the RM60bil spent by visitors in 2012," she said when launching the state-level 1Malaysia Year End sale yesterday.

Dr Ng said last year, Malaysia was ranked 10th in the world for the number of international tourists arrivals with 25 million visitors.

"This is remarkable compared to our population of 28 million. CNN also ranked Kuala Lumpur as the fourth best city for shopping behind New York, Tokyo and London."

Meanwhile, In Langkawi, the island is set to receive more international recognition as the Naturally Langkawi @ Korea exhibition introduces local gastronomic delights, culture and art in South Korea.

The exhibition, which is being held until Dec 15, at Nami Island, South Korea, is part of a partnership programme between Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) and Nami Island Incorporation to promote cultural tourism annually.

Lada chief executive officer Tan Sri Khalid Ramli said in a recent statement that Langkawi would become the transit hub for tourists who wish to visit Malaysia as more nature-based attractions were in progress.

"Eco-tourism will drive Langkawi towards a place in the world's top 10 eco-destination islands by 2015. We are also committed to prolong tourists' length of stay by enhancing facilities, services and amenities of major attractions," he said.

As part of the Nami Island-Langkawi partnership, Malaysians residing in Korea will also receive free entry to Nami Island and visit the Zip Wire attraction at half price.

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