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TOURISM Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen’s foreign trips last year generated an increase of RM635.3mil in foreign exchange revenue for the country compared with 2010.
Dr Ng told Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) in a written reply during Question Time that foreign tourists’ spending in the shopping sector alone contributed RM17.5bil in 2011, which was 30% of the total revenue, as opposed to RM16.2bil or 28.7% in 2010.
She said the increase in foreign exchange revenue was due to promotion of high-end tourism and shopping in Malaysia.
Kok had asked the ministry to list the minister’s foreign trips and tourism promotions from 2010 until 2012.
Besides boosting tourism revenue, the official promotional visits to various countries had also increased the number of tourists and opened new markets to visitors through the introduction of direct flights into the country, Dr Ng said.
“We went on several official promotional visits to Iran, Indonesia, China, Russia, the Philippines, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates in conjunction with the Arab Travel Mart in 2011.
“We visited Singapore, the Philippines, and Germany in conjunction with the Internationale Tourismus Borse this year,” she said.
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