Hasan Malek, Malaysia’s minister for domestic trade, cooperatives & consumerism, told a conference recently that that in order reach its target of 36 million tourist arrivals and MYR168 billion (US$52.4bn) in tourism revenues by 2020, Malaysia needs to attract higher yield and luxury tourists, which brings the cruise market into the frame....
..The Southeast Asian country is well positioned to tap this sector, having extensive coastlines along the east and west of Peninsular Malaysia as well as Sabah and Sarawak. Its rivers and lakes are also navigable.
A number of cruise ships currently sail in Malaysian waters, stopping at ports including Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Port Klang, the gateway to KL. But Hasan suggested this was not enough.
“We have six cruise ports namely Langkawi, Penang, Port Klang, Kuantan, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching with customs, immigration and quarantine complex[es], but none could cater for larger cruise ships that could bring in thousands of tourists,” he said.
This year, Malaysia plans to welcome 28m international tourists and generated MYR76bn in revenues. But only a tiny fraction of this will be generated by cruise visitors. .. more > Malaysia plans to boost cruise sector