KUALA LUMPUR: Tamil was not used in a DVD for the “Malaysia Truly Asia” tourism campaign because most Indians in the middle income group speak English, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.
She said the promotion was market-oriented and not focused on any particular nationality.
She said that when explaining the reason why the promotional DVD was not done in Tamil though it was available in English, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese.
Dr Ng said that in reply to a question from Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang) who had questioned why no tourism promotional materials were produced in Tamil.
“Is the Government not placing any priority on the Indian market?” he asked Ng during question time.
Ng said to capture the Indian market, it was enough that English materials were used as most Indian nationals who have the capacity to travel could speak that language.
However, she said, the same could not be said for other countries, especially China where the majority of those in the middle income group did not speak English.
“I am not reaching out to everybody. I am focusing on those who have the financial capacity to travel. If I can get 1% of the people in China to visit Malaysia, that is already 10 million tourists. The same is also true for the Indian middle income group,” she said.
(The official national language of India is Hindi. -- ED).
Earlier, replying to Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong), Dr Ng said that despite the gloomy tourism outlook in the first six month of the year due to the Influenza A(H1N1) scare, tourist arrivals in Malaysia continued to register an increase.
“Despite figures from the World Tourism Organisation showing a 7% drop in tourist arrivals worldwide due to the Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, tourist arrivals in Malaysia showed an increase of 6.4% compared with the same period last year,” she said.
However, she said, the tourists spent less in the country as the revenue from the industry showed a very marginal increase of 0.03%.
From January to June, Malaysia recorded a revenue of RM24.46bil from the tourism industry and RM24.47bil for the same period last year, she said.