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Sunday, July 24, 2005

State News > Most Foreign Tourists Visit Malaysia For Shopping

State NewsJuly 24, 2005 00:12 AM

Most Foreign Tourists Visit Malaysia For Shopping

PETALING JAYA, July 23 (Bernama) -- More than 85 per cent of foreign male tourists and 75 per cent of female tourists cited shopping as a reason for visiting Malaysia, according to a recent survey by MasterCard International, said Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad.

The survey also showed that Kuala Lumpur's attraction as a shopping destination was because it provided value for money, he said.

He said the ministry's statistics in 2003 showed that spending by tourists on shopping comprised 22 per cent of their total expenditure with lodging taking up 35 per cent.

"Therefore, operators of shopping complexes and retailers should be more active in finding ways to attract tourists to this country," he said when launching the Mega Sale Carnival 2005 here Saturday night.

Last year, Malaysia hosted 15.7 million tourists compared to 10.6 million the year before, up 48.5 per cent, and the tourists in 2004 contributed RM29.7 billion to the economy.

Dr Toyad said the ministry was monitoring closely the preferences and tastes of international shoppers in order to plan the positioning of Malaysia, especially Kuala Lumpur, against other more established shopping destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.

It was also working together with state governments, government agencies, shopping outlets, tour agencies and hotels to ensure adequate infrastructure for the tourists.

Activities during the one-month Mega Sale Carnival, during which shopping complexes in the Klang Valley will be allowed to stay open until 2am, will include Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, Mega Sale Street Carnival, Textile Carnival and Handicraft Carnival.

The main shopping complexes such as Suria KLCC, IKANO Power Centre, The Curve, Sunway Pyramid, Berjaya Times Square, Low Yat Plaza and Alamanda Putrajaya will also organise their individual activities.

-- BERNAMA

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