Published: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 7:43:00 PM
Lahad Datu: Visit Malaysia Year 2014 not affected, says Dr James Dawos
KUCHING: Preparations for Visit Malaysia Year 2014 will not be affected by the armed intrusion of Sulu gunmen in Sabah, Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos said.
The ministry through Tourism Malaysia and other agencies were already on the ground to conduct promotions and marketing initiatives at home and overseas, he said.
"I hope the intrusion crisis can be resolved as soon as possible but it will not affect the tourism sector in Malaysia because tourists visiting the country have many choices," he told reporters after attending a VMY 2014 briefing.
Citing the case of European tourists, who had been advised by their leaders to avoid visiting conflict areas, he said, at present they had chosen to divert to Langkawi.
He said Sarawak, which targetted tourist arrivals of six million during VMY 2014 was also one of the safest places to visit, with unique selling points that appealed particularly to European tourists.
Dr Dawos said VMY 2014 would see an increase of 7.5 percent in tourist arrivals of 28.89 million and 16.8 percent in terms of receipts at RM81.89 billion from a projected 26.88 milion tourists and RM70.10 billion in revenue this year.
Last year, Malaysia recorded 25.03 million tourists which brought a total earnings of RM60.56 billion for the country.
A number of tourism development projects had also been put in place to achieve 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion tourism receipts by 2020. - Bernama