Tag Archives: german

“Land of hornbills” lure for German tourists

Realizing the tremendous potential of Sarawak has among tourists from Germany and the European Union (EU) countries, Minister of Tourism Datuk Seri Abang Johari Tun Openg launched a three times weekly Frankfurt-Kuching direct flight.

Abang Johari said the habit of spending by the Bavarians and Frankfurt is the central location in Western Europe has led him to choose the city as a “hub” to promote Sarawak.

He said Frankfurt hosts numerous international conferences and trade fairs every year like the Frankfurt Automobile Show and the International Book Fair can be used to promote Sarawak.

“During this event we can more or less promote Sarawak and is anticipated to increase interest (between Germany and other European) state,” he said.

He said some 190 airlines are stopping at Frankfurt, “so, anyone who wants to fly to Sarawak can go to Frankfurt and board MAS flight direct to Kuching.”

Abang Johari expected Frankfurt-Kuching direct flight to bring another 50,000 tourists from Europe to Sarawak annually.

Last year 200,000 European visited Sarawak, he said.

“However, in Kuching we only have some 2,800 hotel rooms and is always full, but I personally make sure that tourists from Germany and Europe are comfortable (in Sarawak).,” He said.

Abang Johari was optimistic that Sarawak will reach 5,000,000 visitors this year, a year earlier than the target because it is expected influx of tourists from Germany and other European Union countries.

He also advised residents to take advantage of the Sarawak-Kuching direct flight Frankfurt to go to Germany as a country that offered a variety of business and other opportunities.

Malaysian Ambassador to German, Datuk Kamal Ismaun said the German enjoy the summer between May and September and during other months, they go elsewhere to escape the cold.

“Every time they go abroad, they spend between 10 and 14 days in destination and these include the big-spending tourists,” he told Bernama here.

“What they want most when they go abroad to relax on the beach and playing water sports like jet skiing, kayaking and swimming and is a sport that Sarawak should provide to attract German, “he said.

Kamal said the Germans preferred natural environments such as tropical forests, caves, rivers, wildlife and culture and customs of the places they visited.

If invited to Malaysia, they ask if they can see the Orang Utan, said Kamal.

He said after the setback caused by the September 11 attacks and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the German who showed interest to visit Asia and it should be capitalized by Malaysia, particularly Sarawak, to attract tourists.

If Michael Schumacher for the Formula One race in Sepang come and International circuit, it can be difficult to persuade the other Germans who came to Malaysia because many of them love a challenge, he said.

Kamal said the factors that could work in favor of Malaysia is that most Germans are fluent in English as a subject they are studying for five years during their secondary school education.

German tourism traffic to Malaysia rises

Notwithstanding the high-pitched publicity in the German media about the plight of German and other Western hostages kidnapped from the Malaysian diving resort of Sipadan and held by Filipino rebels at Jolo Island, tourism traffic from Germany to Malaysia actually posted an impressive 70 percent growth in the first six months of this year.

There were 51,227 arrivals, up from 29,591 arrivals in the same period last year, said M.D. Razali, the director of the Frankfurt-based Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board.

Describing the surge in German tourist arrivals in Malaysia as a “dramatic increase”, Razali was upbeat about the future growth in tourist traffic from Germany.

According to Razali, the definition of a tourist is “anyone visiting Malaysia for a period of at least 24 hours and staying overnight in the country”.

Razali said that this “unprecedented increase” in tourist arrivals is a reflection of a “sense of awakening” among Germans about Malaysia as an ideal destination for both leisure and business travellers, and is characterised by a strong confidence and interest in Malaysia among members of the travel trade and the consumers alike.

Admitting that the cumulative figure of German arrivals was quite small, Razali said: “We are very confident that as a potential destination, there is unlimited opportunity for further growth.The launch of the campaign ‘Malaysia – Truly Asia’ is expected to further stimulate interest among prospective German travellers to visit Malaysia.”

Asian tourism promotion offices in Frankfurt aggressively court German tourists who have in the past ruled supreme as “world champions” in foreign tourism spending.

Although they have been overtaken by Americans, German tourists still spend a lot of money on foreign travel and tourism.

According Tourism Malaysia, the 43,341 German tourists who visited Malaysia last year spent an average of RM215.2 per day for an average length of stay of 9.6 days. However, they spent an average per capita of RM2,073.8 per trip.

German tourists visiting Malaysia have shown keen interest in cultural tourism, and have a fondness for sandy, clean beaches with plenty of sunshine.

“The Sipadan beach resort with its excellent scuba diving facilities was seen as an ideal holiday resort for Germans until the recent incident (kidnapping of German tourists by Philippine Muslim rebels)… however, Malaysia has other attractive holiday resorts in Penang and elsewhere that can be appealing to Germans,” says a Berlin-based German tour operator who prefers to remain anonymous.

A German family of three were among 21 persons kidnapped from Sipadan on April 23. Fifteen of them, including two of the Germans, have since been released.

Those still in the hands of the kidnappers are a German, three Frenchmen and two Finns.