Orchids on the itinerary

Indians visiting Malaysia normally make a beeline for Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi or Genting Island and, of course, shop till they drop. However, post globalisation, the thrill of carrying back branded goodies after a “unique shopping experience” is on the wane. Add to this the rupee’s plunge. A Malaysian local, who has been handling tourists for years, lamented that Indians of late seem more interested in sightseeing than shopping. “They are not interested in buying as they did before. When I take them to shopping malls, they say everything is available in India, and much cheaper,” he said. If the airport departure lounge is anything to go by, the most sought-after shopping item for Indians now seems to be a huge LED television set, which is cheaper there.

Hoping to attract 27 million tourists this year, compared to 25.3 million last year, the Malaysian tourism department is showcasing the country’s rich history, beautiful mosques and beaches, heritage, art, culture and cuisine, as also a range of premium hotels attached to golf courses for business travellers. The destinations in focus include Putrajaya, Selangor, Melaka and Johor Baru, which borders Singapore and houses the Legoland theme park.

A special attraction in June was the ‘Floria Putrajaya’ and ‘Magic of the Night’ festival, a night parade of 14 lighted boats showcasing Malaysia’s tourism ‘icons’ followed by fireworks. Travel sector representatives and media from 13 countries including China, Hungary, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and India were invited.

Full report here Business Line 


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