Thursday, September 23, 2010


MELAKA, (Bernama) -- The people of Thailand, especially from the southern region, are keen to visit Malaysia and learn more of the country.

Saniyah Satapor an executive with Al Hijrah and Travel Ltd in Pattani said the feedback from Thai tourist visiting Malaysia revealed that they were impressed with the tourism products offered by the different states in Malaysia.

"I have also taken teachers and students to universities in Malaysia - Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. We are impressed with Malaysia's education sector as well," she told Bernama during the recent Melaka Tourism Promotion campaign held in Hatyai, the business and tourism hub of south Thailand.

During the campaign entitled "Jom Ke Melaka 2010" (Lets Visit Melaka 2010), a total of 65 delegation members from the Melaka state government had the opportunity to meet about 100 tour agents and guides in Hatyai.

During a briefing session conducted by state government companies involved in tourism, in the Thai language, the tour agent and guides showed keen interest in the state's tourism offerings.

The Managing Director of Hatyai Good Morning Tours Co.Ltd, Jason Teoh observed that Malaysia has numerous tourism offerings that could woo more tourists from Thailand.
"Education tourism is among the product of interest for tourists from Thailand as many are keen to learn English and Mandarin. Malaysia is the closest destination offering learning in both languages," he said.

His side is ready to lend a hand in promoting Melaka's tourism products and the whole of Malaysia as well.

"It is better if the information on Malaysian tourism products be printed in Thai, this is because the Thai people are more comfortable with their mother tongue," said Ahmad Ali, a tour guide from Satun.

Mohd Fahmi Nordin, Tourism Malaysia official stationed in Phuket, when met during the programme noted that south Thailand has 14 provinces with about 3.8 million people.

He said last year, about 1.4 million visitors from Thailand visited Malaysia and he expects the figure to increase owing too the tourism promotion campaigns.

"During the same period about 1.2 million Malaysian tourists visited Thailand," said Mohd Fahmi.
He said that Tourism Malaysia is boosting promotion efforts to woo more Thai visitors to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the Melaka Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee Chairman Datuk Seet Har Cheow said more tourism campaigns were on the cards to woo Thai visitors to Melaka.
He pointed out that 16,215 Thais visited Melaka last year and this year the figure is expected to reach 20,000 this year.

Seet pointed out among the tourism sub sectors with potential that could be promoted to visitors from the neighbouring country is education, health and recreation.

He was informed by the Hatyai Tourism Agency, many students from neighbouring countries want to study in Malaysia and mostly want to take up the Malay, English and Mandarin language.
"Melaka will capitalise on this by promoting education tourism with compelling offerings to attract the students to Melaka," said Seet who led the Melaka delegation.

Melaka listed as World Heritage City by Unesco also evokes interest among Thais to take peek at the state's historical heritage.

The opening of Melaka International Airport (LTAM) in Batu Berendam on last February helps to encourage more Thais to visit Melaka.

"The flight from Hatyai to LTAM takes one hour 45 minutes, and this will help reduce the arrival time for the tourists from south of Thailand," he said.

The State Tourism Development Promotion Division will be cooperating with Hatyai's tourism authorities and tour agents to promote Melaka.

Source from BERNAMA

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