Malaysia gears up for 1994

Mike Currie

MALAYSIA claims it attracted the largest number of tourists among member countries in 1992 during Visit ASEAN Year (VAY), around 6.2 million.

Singapore and Thailand each attracted 5.99 million, Indonesia 3.06 million, the Philippines 1.28 million and Brunei 522,000.

A total of 147 special events were held in the ASEAN countries during VAY. The Philippines hosted the most, 34, but as the figures indicate, it was still way down the list in the number of visitors. Last year there was an increase in visitors to Malaysiafrom Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and China.

Malaysia is now gearing up for Visit Malaysia Year 1994, and is making tourism a priority in its development plans. The last VMY was in 1990 when tourism was said to have increased by 53 per cent over 1989.

More than 160 events have been planned for next year compared with 127 in 1990.

Eighteen packages to coincide with major events are being organised for foreign tourists from March to November, taking in Peninsula Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.

They will range from the gentle, the International Kite Festival in Kelantan, to jungle trips and motor cycling for the more adventurous.

In the lead-up to Visit Malaysia Year, Kuala Lumpur will host the sixth World Corporate Games from September 4 to 12.

It is the first time these ''corporate Olympics'' will have been held in Asia and they are expected to attract around 10,000 participants and spectators from abroad.

Malaysia Fest '93 will also be held in KL from September 11 to 25, featuring cultural shows, traditional cuisine, arts and handicrafts exhibitions.

For information, contact the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Tel 528-5810 or Fax 865-4610.