10 March 2010
NEW DELHI, March 10-- The Tourism Ministry has again upped it mark for tourists arrivals from India, hoping to pull in 650,000 visitors to Malaysia this year.
With budget carrier AirAsia making plans to fly to more major Indian cities later this year and the swelling in outbound travel in India, tourism officials are optimistic that the new target can be easily achieved.
"India is a main growth market and the country's outbound travel is booming. With AirAsia scheduled to fly to major cities soon, we can achieve a 10 percent growth without any problems," Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg, Director-General of Tourism Malaysia, told the media here.
Despite the global economic recession last year, tourist arrivals from India were at a record figure of 589,838.
After China, India is the second top tourism generating market for Malaysia in the region.
Mirza is currently leading a mission to six cities in India -- Ahemdabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai -- to promote Malaysia extensively.
The Tourism Ministry will also focus more on emerging second tier cities in India, where outbound travel is steadily rising, largely spurred by the increasing economic wealth.
Over 23 million visitors from around the globe landed on Malaysian shores last year.