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Labuan expects 1.5m arrivals for Visit Malaysia Year 2020
Published on: Tuesday, January 07, 2020
By: Sohan Das
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LABUAN:  Labuan expects to hit 1.5 million arrivals of visitors for Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY 2020), recording an increase of about 30 per cent compared to the figures for the last two years.

“Our expectations are modest and realistic because this is a special year emphasising on tourism. 

“Even the national expectation had been increased to 30 million tourists for the year,” Member of Parliament Datuk Rozman Isli said when he and Labuan Corporation CEO Dr Fary Akmal Osman welcomed visitors at the airport and Labuan International Ferry Terminal to set the mood for the year. 

Rozman added Motac and LC have arranged 100 over programmes for the year and the events were of wide and varied interest to meet the differing interests of tourists.

“Adding to this, anchor events like the Labuan Sea Challenge, International Golf and Kite Festival are expected to draw wider interest with the increased prices.”

He hoped that all agencies got the message and would support the success of VMY 2020 in Labuan with understanding and flexibility in dealing with the needs of tourism services providers.

The tourism sector, in the last two years, had been gaining momentum with steady growth. 

Figures showed that in 2018, 1,279.198 visited the island with 1,139,686 domestic arrivals and 139,512 foreign arrivals while up to Nov in 2019 is 1,276,764 with 1,000,607 in domestic arrivals and 125, 157 (foreign).

Rozman also expected the hotel occupancy rates to improve by between seven and 8 per cent. He suggested that the statistics of visitors be detailed further to show visitors who are local residents returning and record the stays in hotels, apartments, homestay and Airbnb. 

In the meantime the Visas On Arrival which was approved for Labuan mid-last year is yet to create the desired effected. 

According to industry sources only a few groups come from Brunei since they were not familiar with regulations and encountered problems at the Labuan ferry terminal.

These visitors had to produce RM200 in cash a credit card, photo and hotel voucher but most of them did not have Malaysian ringgit or photo. Although the problems were resolved the bad experience was likely to be shared by them back home. The visas on arrival was approved only for China and India tourists arriving from a third country via the Ferry Terminal or Airport.


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