NEW DELHI, April 9 – The Malaysian tourism industry received a boost among travellers from the Indian sub-continent when KL International Airport (KLIA) was adjudged the ‘Best Duty-Free Shopping Destination’ in a readers’ poll conducted by Travel + Leisure, India’s leading luxury and travel magazine. Malaysia also shared the ‘Best Food Destination’ award with Hong Kong, at a glittering presentation ceremony held at a leading hotel in Gurgaon near here. Dubai won the ‘Best City’ award and Singapore, the ‘Best Airport’ and ‘Best Airline’ awards.
The poll was conducted in the magazine and online over a period of five months in 2014. The awards were received on behalf of Malaysia by Tourism Malaysia director (Mumbai) Manoharan Periasamy. Manoharan said that last year, another leading magazine, ‘Lonely Planet’, adjudged Malaysia as the ‘Best Family Destination’. “We at Tourism Malaysia are very happy and honoured that our country is getting more recognition among travellers from this part of the world,” said Manoharan after the awards ceremony.
For the record, a CNN Travel poll in 2013 also recognised Malaysia as a shopping destination. Manoharan said travel agencies and others in the travel industry generally viewed Malaysia as a great destination, especially for those keen on fine international cuisine and street food experience. Last year, Malaysia recorded an 18 per cent growth, to 770,000, in tourist arrivals from India. The visitors spent about USD700 million (about RM2.54 billion). Manoharan quoted Tourism Malaysia statistics to show that Indians stayed an average of 6.6 days in Malaysia and spent about RM2,900 each. “The first three months of this year showed some good growth and we are targeting 800,000 tourist arrivals from here (India),” he said. – Bernama