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Thursday, November 25, 2010

MELAKA EXPECTED TO RECEIVE 10 MILLION VISITORS IN 2010

November 25, 2010 15:44 PM

Melaka Expected To Receive 10 Million Tourists In 2010

MELAKA, Nov 25 (Bernama) -- For the first time, Melaka is expected to receive as many as 10 million tourists compared with 8.9 million last year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said up to October this year, the historical state had received 7.8 million tourist arrivals and another 2.2 million were expected in November and December.

"The number of tourists has risen considerably since Melaka was declared a World Heritage Site in July 2008," he said in his speech at the 'Session with Eminent Personalities' organised by the Institute of Management and Integrity, Melaka (Inspim) at a hotel, here, Wednesday night.

Also present was Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, as the guest-of-honour.

Mohd Ali also said that the Melaka International Airport (MIA) in Batu Berendam would see the arrival of Riau Air's Boeing 737-500 flight carrying 120 passengers on Dec 6.

He said Riau Air had been operating daily flights between Pekan Baru in Indonesia and Melaka using the Fokker 50, carrying 50 passengers.

"We will also work at having more special flights from Macau and China to Melaka as the MIA had been upgraded," he added.

Dr Ng told a news conference later that Melaka received an allocation of RM157.2 million for a two-year period under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP), which was 46 per cent of the total allocation of RM340 million under the tourism implementation programme.

"This allocation is in recognition of Melaka's role as a prime tourist destination," she said.

At the same function, Dr Ng also announced five main projects under the two-year period of the 10MP, which include upgrading of facilities at the Ayer Keroh Botanical Park costing RM30 million, developing the Tasik Chin Chin area in Jasin (RM25 million) and infrastructure for the cable car in Bandar Hilir (RM49 million).

The two others are the monorail phase two project along the Melaka River (RM13.2 million) and the development project at the Hang Tuah village along the Duyung River (RM40 million).

Meanwhile, Mohd Ali said Melaka planned to hold a Baba-Nyonya International Festival for the first time next year to attract more tourists to the state.

He said the Casa del Rio boutique hotel in Bandar Hilir, expected to be ready by April next year, would be the main venue for the festival showcasing the culture, traditions, fashion and food of the Baba-Nyonya community.

Organised with the cooperation of the Tourism Ministry, the festival will also invite the participation of Penang, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand which also have such a community.

-- BERNAMA

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