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  Travel
Dir. Gen. Siaraf Visits Seoul
Malaysia Hails S. Koreans to Its Beauty
Reception Held for Malaysian Tour Delegation, Locals
Director General Kamaruddin bin Siaraf of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) speaks at Malaysia Truly Asia Trade Reception held at Lotte Hotel's Crystal Ballroom May 16, 2005.

South Korea is emerging as a much favored market for tourism industry among the South East Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand,the Philippines and even Cambodia. In the vanguard of these countries' foray into the recently found rich market of South Korea is Malaysia.

In a strong drive for its Tourism Malsysia program, Kuala Lumpur dispatched the largest delegation ever to Seoul headed by the second highest tourism official.

"Malaysia is confident that Korean tourists will find Malaysia appealing as a tourist destination be it for the food, the culture, the beaches, islands, jungles or the shopping," said Director General Kamaruddin bin Siaraf of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) in a tourism promotional event held at the Crystal Room of Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul May 16, 2005.

MTPB Director General Siaraf (3rd from left) is suggesting a toast with Malaysian Amb. Dato' M. Santhananaban (3rd from right) and other VIPs at a reception held at Lotte Hotel May 16, 2005.

The event titled "Malaysia Truly Asia Trade Reception" was organized by Abdul Mutalib Awang, director of Tourism Malaysia in Seoul for a delegation of Malaysia's high-level tourism officials, both local and Malaysians involved in tourism industry, and local journalists.

Headed by Director General Siaraf, the delegation came to Seoul May 15, 2005 from Tokyo as part of their efforts for aggressive promotion of Tourism Malaysia. Prior to Seoul visit the delegation also toured Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. After Seoul event it headed to Busan for an event May 18, 2005.

The large-scale delegation consists of scores of officials and other professionals from the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Malaysia and state tourism boards, travel agents, hotel operators, and representatives from the Malaysian travel industry.

MTPB Director General Siaraf (left) poses with Director Abdul Mutalib Awang (right) of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) in Seoul , and Manging Director Datuk Lau Chir Nguan (center) of Afamosa Resort Malaysia at the reception.

High profile members of the Malaysian tourism delegation include Cindy Lim, director of Tourism Malaysia's international promotion division, Syed Yahya Syed Othman, regional director (Japan, S. Korea, USA, and Canada) of Tourism Malaysia's international promotion division, and Haji Sahariman Hamdan, president of the International Culture Exchange Institute.

Accompanying them were eight Malaysian fashion models and fashion designer Kartini Illias who presented a batik-inspired fashion show at the reception on May 16.

It was a truely busy day for all the staff of Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board in Seoul, including its Director Abdul Mutalib Awang, Deputy Director N. J. Noel, local Marketing Manager Jay Joo, and local Operation Manager Liz Han.

Malaysian models at the Malaysia Truly Asia Trade Reception

Malaysian Amb. Dato' M. Santhananaban, one of its Counsellor Shaharuddin Othman, Area Manager of Malaysian Airlines in Seoul Abdul Manaf Harun also attended the reception.

The reception, which followd a seminar for promoting Tourism Malaysia, lasted some two hours with colorful fashion show by Malaysian models and traditional dance performance.

After the dinner and batik-inspired fashion show, a lucky draw session was held in which a number of participants were rewarded with a variety of travel benefits including several free tickets from Seoul to Malaysian cities and additional accommodations.

Regional Director Syed Yahya Syed Othman (far left) of MTPB's international promotion division sits with Area Manager Abdul Manaf Harun of Malaysian Airlines, and other guests at the Malaysia Truly Asia Trade Reception.

The delegation's visit to South Korea and Japan is aimed at renewing Malaysia's commitment and support for the markets of the two neighboring countries.

Malaysia also wants to establish a wide network of contacts in the tourism markets of both nations by keeping counterparts of Japan and Korea abreast of recent developments in Malaysian tourism industry.

In actuality, already famous for its ecotourism, golf tour, and most recently a carefully-organized home stay program, as well as education for the Asian kids particularly Korean kids, the sub-tropital country has indeed a lot to offer.

MTPB's Seoul office Director Awang (3rd from left) sits with President Haji Sahariman Hamdan (far left) of the International Culture Exchange Institute, Director Cindy Lim (center) of MTPB's international promotion division, Manging Director Nguan (2nd from left) of Afamosa Resort Malaysia, and Manager Oh Hyon-Jae (right) of Korea National Tourism Organization.

Being a multi-racial and multi-cultural society, Malaysia boasts highly-developed infrastructure in the beauty of its pristine nature much parts of which are still intact.

Friendliness of its people and its state-of-the-art facilities are also the strongest factors attributing to Malaysia's appeal as world's one of the most favored holiday destination for the customers in Asia, particularly those in Japan and Korea.

Malaysia's stable and growing economy, availability of international cuisine, Korean brands, restaurants and supermarkets are also the inducements for the South Korean visitors for whom no visa is required.

MTPB Director General Siaraf (5th from right) poses with the first prize winner and other participants in the reception.

Direct flights between Korean and Malaysian destinations by Malaysian Airlines, Korean Air, and Asiana Airlines are expected to boost human exchanges in many fields between the two countries, including tourism sector.

In case of Malaysian Airlines there are currently seven daily flights per week between Seoul's Incheon International Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Malaysia has been enjoying healthy numbers of tourist arrivals each year from around the world. In 2003 there were 10.5 million tourist arrivals while in 2004 Malaysia recorded a 48.5 percent increase with 15.7 million tourist arrivals, according to the figures from Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board.

Malaysian Ambassador to Seoul Dato' M. Santhananaban (third from right) poses with other distinguished guests.

For 2005, up until February, tourist arrivals stood at 2,740,582 with an average of more than 1.3 million a month.

The increase in the number of tourist arrivals at Malaysia is exceptionally conspicuous with those from South Korea.

In 2003, Malaysia received 46,246 tourists from South Korea while in 2004, the number increased by 97.4 percent to 91,270 and contributing 54.4 million US dollars in tourist receipts.

For the first two months of 2005, there already have been 23,911 tourists from South Korea and Malaysia hopes to see this number surpass last year's final figures.

Director General (center) Siaraf poses with Director Awang (2nd from right), Counsellor Shaharuddin Othman (right) of Malaysian embassy in Seoul, Director Cindy Lim (3rd from left), Managing Editor Joseph Joh (left) of The Seoul Times, and other VIPs.

Aside from being a holiday destination, Malaysia is also turning up as an ideal location for films and documentaries. As such, the Malaysian government is offering attractive incentives for film and television producers to come to Malaysia for their location shoots.

Malaysia is also fast becoming a recognized education center offering quality language courses and academic degrees at a fraction of what it would cost in Europe and the West.

For same reason growing number of South Koreans choose to send thier kids to Malaysia for English language training or other education in English.

Malaysia Truly Asian Trade Reception

Director General of Tourism Malaysia Kamaruddin bin Siaraf adresses the audience in Malay Truly Asia Trade Reception.

Director Abdul Mutalib Awang (right) of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) in Seoul sits with President Haji Sahariman Hamdan (left) of the International Culture Exchange Institute, and Manging Director Datuk Lau Chir Nguan of Afamosa Resort Malaysia.

A Malaysian model walks in a fashion show held during the Malaysia Truly Asia Trade Reception at Lotte Hotel May 16, 2005.

A traditional Malaysian dance performaed during Malaysia Truly Asia Trade Reception held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul May 16, 2005.



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