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"Visit Malaysia Year 2007" campaign in India

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Mumbai, Feb 24 (UNI) A campaign by Malaysian Tourism Ministry- ''Visit Malaysia Year 2007'' was launched here today in its bid to attract 20 million foreign tourists, including 3,50,000 Indians, to that country by next year.

Announcing this, Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg, Deputy Director General, Tourism Malaysia, told reporters that the objective of the campaign was to develop and market the south-east asian nation as the preferred international tourist destination.

''India is the first country where the campaign was being launched,'' he said.

''The significance of Indian market is an accepted fact in our Ministry and we want to consolidate this further by not only targeting to increase the number of tourist arrivals but also to attract more 'high-end' tourists from India,'' he observed.

In order to achieve its 20 million target, Mr Beg said his Ministry has identified eight specific regions in the world where strategic marketing initiatives would be undertaken.

''Our Ministry believes that India will be among top ten contributing countries in this regard,'' he maintained.

Mr Beg said that to popularise the campaign, his Ministry was spearheading a tourism sales mission to India from February 20 to March 5.

The sales mission would visit New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad, he said.

''Since January-October 2005, Malaysia registered a total of 13,581,502 tourist arrivals compared to 13,071,098 for the same period a year ago indicating an increase of 3.9 per cent'' Mr Beg said.

During that period, 1,87,918 Indian tourists visited Malaysia, as compared to 1,49,287 in 2004, representing an increase of 25.9 per cent, he added.

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