Tourism not affected by illegal street rallies
ILLEGAL street demonstrations have never discouraged tourism in Malaysia in the past and are not likely to, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said yesterday.
“From 2004 to 2012, there has always been an increase in the number of tourists to Malaysia. The only year that saw a drop was in 2003 due to the SARS outbreak and the global recession,” he said.
He said this after the announcement of Citrawarna 1Malaysia 2013 — the Tourism and Culture Ministry’s signature event — at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday.
The event, the 15th since its inception in 1999, will feature 6,700 participants in the the 1.5km parade and is part of the Transformation Tourism Plan aimed to generate RM168 million by 2020.
Next year has been designated “Visit Malaysia Year (VMY)”, during which 28 million tourists are expected to be drawn to the country. “To achieve this, we will also require participation from Selangor, Penang and Kelantan.
Politics should be put aside in regards to tourism,” Nazri said. The launch of Citrawarna 1Malaysia will be graced by the king and queen and themed “Visit Malaysia Year 2014 — Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia”.
The parade will consist of floats and multicultural dances in 15 segments highlighting Malaysia’s tourism products and its diverse communities, such as eco-tourism, sports tourism, contemporary art tourism, heritage, parks and gardens, tarian-tarian rakyat 1Malaysia, and other performances.
Nazri said members of the media from 24 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Turkey, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Egypt and Iran, will be present, while about 260 foreign delegates are expected to attend.
“RTM2 will broadcast it live from 8.30pm until 10.30pm while Truly Asia TV will feature a delayed broadcast,” he said.
“The highlight of the parade is the Mega Endang performance which will be presented by the performers taking part, and the finale will be a VMY-themed performance and the Joget Lambak. About 200 Porsche cars will also be on show.”
The event will start at 5pm with a pre-show. Local artistes such as Ella, Jimmy Palikat and Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim will also be performing until midnight.
For those interested to register for the ministry’s 1Voluntourism, a booth will be set up from 2pm to 8pm at Dataran Merdeka. There will also be a 1Malaysia food court for food lovers.
For those wishing to use public transportation, services for LRT and RapidKL stations near the venue will be extended until 12.30am and 1am, respectively.
The roads around Merdeka Square will closed from 8.30pm to midnight today for rehearsals.