ITB Berlin 2017 coincides with an important political anniversary for Malaysia: the south east Asian country obtained its independence 60 years ago. To honour this occasion in a suitable fashion not only the Director of the Tourism Promotion Board, Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, but also the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Dato Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, are attending ITB Berlin.
In 2016 the number of tourists visiting Malaysia increased by four per cent, but ten per cent fewer came from Germany. The minister attributed this discrepancy to the safety warnings issued by the German Foreign Office, which drew attention to the risk of further attacks, especially in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, following the arrests of numerous terrorism suspects. He expressed the hope that such advice would soon become obsolete.
At this year’s ITB Berlin Nazri Abdul Aziz turned the spotlight on the regions of Malaysia-Borneo and on Perak in the north of the country. Sabah on Borneo offers a wide selection of activities such as walking and diving. However, the German Foreign Office has strongly advised against travelling to the east of the province of Sabah. With its unusual mix of holiday facilities and fishing settlements, Perak in northern Malaysia, with the island of Pangkor, is being promoted as a fascinating holiday destination.
Divers are certain to be interested in the coral island of Sipadan, one of whose admirers was the marine researcher Jacques Cousteau. To protect the natural environment only 120 visitors per day are allowed into this area. Other highly recommended destinations for divers are the islands of Redang and Tioman. The minister also drew attention to the competitively priced air fares and the good flight connections with Germany: Singapore Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Thai Airways and Oman Air serve Malaysia with 400 flights each week.
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Press contact: Katja Hasselkus
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