Malaysia turns shopping into main tourist attraction

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PETALING JAYA – More shopping dollars will be flowing in to Kuala Lumpur this year given the overwhelming response to the country’s three annual sale carnivals.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the ministry expected this year’s shopping revenue to rise by 10% to RM16.6bil.

She said that in terms of revenue last year, shopping amounted to 28.3% or RM15.1bil of the country’s total tourist receipts of RM53.2bil.

“Our annual mega sales campaign success is evident in the growing number of tourist arrivals each year during the sale months.

“Increasing tourist arrivals, especially during these sale months, further prove that shopping is indeed a major attraction and plays a strong role in the travel decisions of the potential visitor to Malaysia,” she said.

Speaking after opening Art Auction Malaysia here yesterday, Dr Ng said the ministry was looking to develop new products like converting Kuala Lumpur into a top shopping city.

She said the overwhelming response to the country’s three annual sale carnivals, the Malaysia Grand Prix Sale, the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival and the Malaysia Year-End Sale, bore testimony to how popular shopping had become in Malaysia.

“We have to move to achieve our target of 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168bil in tourism receipts by 2020,” she added.

Dr Ng said working on the smart collaboration basis via public private partnership, the ministry was moving fast to offer new tourism products to cater to the more discerning, global and high-end lifestyle tourists.

On Art Auction Malaysia, Dr Ng said it was a milestone in the development of art tourism in the country and sales from the arts would also contribute to the tourist receipts.

She added that the auction also helped to boost domestic tourism because art lovers would travel from other states to Kuala Lumpur.

The auction, organised by Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers Sdn Bhd, has a preview exhibition from today to Aug 7 at Wisma Bentley Music, Mutiara Damansara.