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Middle East visitors prefer Malaysia's green offerings

TOURISM Malaysia's survey of the high-spending Middle East market has revealed that tourists from the region prefer nature over other attractions.

  11/05/2011 11:23

Malaysia Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen said at the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai that 57 per cent of survey respondents picked ecotourism as their activity-of-choice, above shopping, spa and wellness programmes, diving and golfing.

“Ecotourism is high on their list, as people in the Middle East enjoy the greenery they do not have, which can be found in abundance in Malaysia,” she explained. “It makes sense that they want to indulge in activities associated with nature when they go on vacation.”

Beyond well-loved destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi, Ng said that Arab travellers were becoming increasingly keen on exploring Malaysia's resort islands such as Redang, Perhentian and Tioman.

She added that Arab tourists would also like to experience Malaysian culture, as well as areas combining adventure with nature, like Sabah and Sarawak.

 

(Source: TTG Asia)

Meanwhile, family-oriented theme parks such as Genting Highlands, Sunway Lagoon and A'Famosa Resort are expected to continue generating interest among Middle East tourists. “This is because the Arabs are more likely to go on vacation with their families than go on a group tour,” Ng said.

With Arab tourists spending an average of RM7,500 (US$2,505) per stay compared to RM2,300 for tourists from other markets, Ng said visitors from the Middle East were integral to Tourism Malaysia’s targets, as the country aims to encourage more long-stay high-yield visitors.

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