15 million tourists expected in Malacca

People thronging the Jonker Walk market in Malacca, a favourite among tourists and locals.

MALACCA - The state expects 15 million domestic and foreign tourist arrivals this year, 1.5 million more than last year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said he was confident that the target could be achieved with Tourism Malaysia's Visit Malaysia 2014 programmes planned for this year.

"We are upbeat about meeting the goal, based on the 13.5 million arrivals in 2013, in spite of the earlier estimated arrivals of 13 million," he said after presenting hampers and ang pow to the elderly, single mothers and the less fortunate in conjunction with Chinese New Year at the International Trade Centre here yesterday.

A total of 165 recipients received ang pow of RM100 (S$38.70) each, hampers, packets of rice and oranges.

Idris said the government would ensure that hotels and homestay lodges in the state get 20,000 rooms ready over the next three years to meet the growing demands of the tourism sector.

"Currently, hotels and homestays can only provide 7,500 rooms to domestic and foreign tourists," he said.

He said with the support of the Federal Government and the increasing number of investors in the industry, Malacca was poised to maintain its attractiveness as a global tourist centre and become one of the main destinations during VMY 2014.