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KUALA LUMPUR: A drizzle failed to dampen the spirit of the crowd at the opening of the Citrawarna 1Malaysia 2011 extravaganza at Dataran Merdeka here last night.
Themed “1Malaysia Tourism Festival”, the mesmerising event featuring Malaysian music and dance attracted an estimated 100,000 crowd, including foreign guests.
Taking centrestage was Malaysia’s unique cultural diversity, with the venue being transformed into a fairyland of lights and colour. Multicoloured fireworks lit the city skyline.
The show was graced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah.
The premier cultural event, now into its 13th year, was broadcast live over RTM and also beamed to Brunei, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Macau, with an estimated TV audience of 25 million.
Malaysia’s renowned tourism tagline “Malaysia Truly Asia” came alive through musical, song and dance performances highlighting six tourism products, namely Parks and Gardens; Sports Tourism; Contem-porary Arts; Fabulous Food, Fruits and Shopping; Ecotourism; and 1Malaysia Green 1Malaysia Clean.
Spectators were also entertained by ethnic dance performances.
Tourism is one of the largest contributors to the Malaysian economy, generating RM56.5bil in tourism receipts in 2010 on the back of 24.6 million tourist arrivals.
In her speech, Dr Ng said Malaysia aimed to welcome 36 million tourists with receipts of RM168bil by 2020.
“We will continue to be creative and innovative in utilising our nation’s resources such as nature, culture and history.
“However, the most important ingredient for Malaysia’s tourism success is the commitment, dedication and support of all Malaysians,” she added.
The event was marked by the “Joget 1Malaysia” finale which saw the participation of some 5,000 performers as well as members of the public.
A tourism carnival was held earlier in the day, which offered a wide array of domestic tourism packages and the opportunity to savour other Malaysian delights, including local fruits. – Bernama
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