SHAH ALAM, July 14 — The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) will revise its target of foreign tourist arrivals to Malaysia this year, which is most likely to surpass the initial target of 4.5 million.

Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said this was probably the result of the many holistic Muslim-friendly tour packages offered by industry players in the country that lured foreign tourists to choose Malaysia as their holiday destination.

“So, come September, we may have to revise our target as the number of foreign tourist arrivals may exceed 4.5 million, especially from China which has a large population of Muslims and they really like to come to Malaysia.

“When I attended the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference in Azerbaijan recently, it was made clear to me that tourists from all over the world recognise Malaysia as a Muslim-friendly holiday destination.

“With our Muslim-friendly hospitality facilities, it will definitely help increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals to the country,” she told reporters after launching Mardiyyah Hotel and Suites here today.

On the ministry’s preparation to increase manpower in the tourism industry after Indonesia decided to temporarily stop sending workers to Malaysia, Nancy said Motac had also applied to have foreign workers from other countries but their entry to Malaysia would be decided by the Ministry of Human Resources.

“We just want to help the tourism industry players, especially hotels, to get workers. At the same time, we never stop creating job opportunities for the locals,” she added. — Bernama