Tourism is an important source of income to Malaysia. It is a good money-spinner because Malaysia is blessed with beautiful scenery, historical spots, sandy beaches and its famous Malaysian hospitality. These assets have been fully-utilized by our government to promote tourism.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports plays a major role in promoting Malaysia to tourists overseas. Malaysia used to be little known in many countries overseas but now with much advertising in the mass media, people have begun to consider Malaysia as the next destination for their vacation. The prominent nationwide effort at promoting Malaysia is in the form of "Visit Malaysia Year" which was organized in 1991, 1994 and will be held again in 1996. Cultural shows and oral fests are part of the program for the "Visit Malaysia Year". These events are crowd-pullers.
Our country aims for a constant flow of tourists into the country, instead of spurts in numbers which coincide with events like the "Visit Malaysia Year". This is shown by efforts at developing certain locations as tourist destinations within the country. Examples are Pulau Langkawi, Pulau Pinang, Mount Kinabalu in Sabah and Mulu Caves in Sarawak. The organization of tour packages is largely responsible for attracting tourists. Without organized tours, tourists waste time arranging accommodation and transport. Travel agencies have caught the idea and have many tour packages for various tourist spots in the country.
The income generated by the tourism industry would not be great if tourists come just once. To ensure that tourists make Malaysia a regular destination for their yearly vacations, there have been efforts by all quarters concerned to improve the necessary facilities. The government has built roads and highways to save traveling time from one spot to another. Hotels and tourist resorts offer special room rates during holiday seasons. They also have food fests which feature favorite Malaysian food like satay and laksa. Handicraft shops are situated at convenient spots so that tourists can bring home with them mementos of their memorable visit to Malaysia.
Even the Malaysian on the street is ever ready to give a friendly Malaysian smile which makes tourists feel at home. And which brings them back again and again.
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