Monday, July 13, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 – Malaysia plans to introduce a ‘Twin City Fellowship’ programme to form a network between cities with historical and cultural links as a means of boosting tourism.
Tourism minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said a number of pairing with cities and countries had been identified for the programme, especially Malacca-Holland, Penang-England and Kelantan-Singapore.
“Holland was chosen as the ‘twin’ for Malacca due to its history as the Dutch had been in Malacca, Kelantan and Singapore because of the railway that links Kelantan-Singapore,” she told reporters here today after meeting 44 Tourism Malaysia directors who are based overseas.
Ng said the programme was a creative and innovative proposal to overcome a drop in tourism arrivals in the country due to the global economic crisis and the influenza A(H1N1) outbreak.
For the month of June, tourist arrivals from China dropped 20 per cent, Japan (22 per cent), Taiwan (15 per cent), South Korea (16 per cent), Saudi Arabia (46 per cent), United Arab Emirates (36 per cent), she said.
She said that the Twin City Fellowship programme will be packaged with the homestay concept whereby tourists can enjoy a new experience during their stay here.
“Homestay is not about just providing accommodation but something that they cannot experience elsewhere. They (tourist) will follow them (villagers) to fruit plantation and join the cultural activities there,” she said. – Bernama

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