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Malaysia gaining recognition steadily as a tourist destination

A total of 1,819,689 tourists visited Malaysia in March 2008, according to statistics released by the Immigration Department of Malaysia. The highest number of tourist arrival recorded was from Singapore with 882,787 arrivals in March, followed by the other top ten listers of Indonesia (185,537), Thailand (115,868), China (85.542), Brunei (70,829), Japan (40,318), India (39,621), United Kingdom (34,407), Australia (33,500) and the Philippines (30,515).

Interestingly, double digit growth was recorded from a number of major markets in March 2008 compared with March 2007, such as Russia (50.8 percent), Canada (47.5 percent), South Africa (45.9 percent), Indonesia (43.6 percent), the Netherlands (42.6 percent), New Zealand (40.1 percent), France (36.0 percent), Germany (31.7 percent), the United Kingdom (30.4 percent), China (including Hong Kong and Macau) (27.8 percent), Cambodia (19.8 percent), India (19.3 percent), Australia (18.9 percent), the Philippines (12.3 percent) and South Korea (10.1 percent).

As for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, in the month of March, it was the venue of choice for 56 local, regional and international events, bringing in a total of 125,087 delegates representing 136,427 delegate days.

The more notable events were the USANA Asia Pacific Convention (3,000 delegates over three days), the 4th CINP Pacific-Asia Regional Meeting 2008 (500 delegates), the 5th Asian Regulatory Conference (300 delegates) and the Offshore Asia Conference & Exhibition (5,000 delegates). Also drawing diverse crowds were the FACON Education Fair 2008 (60,000 visitors) and the Malaysia International Luxury Property Expo (11,000 visitors).

The Centre was also the host venue of a public lecture on the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) by HE Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), attracting 650 attendees.
“With business tourists reportedly spending almost five times more than that of an average tourist, it is in Malaysia’s interest to gain a bigger piece of the MICE pie. With help from the relevant parties, we hope to see this collaboration resulting in even more impressive figures for the future,” said Peter Brokenshire, General Manager of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

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