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More Malaysians holidaying in Japan
Publication Date : 22-08-2014
More locals are choosing Japan for international holidays, with Malaysian tourist arrivals to the Land of The Rising Son hitting a record high for the first half of the year.
Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) executive director Hideki Manabe said 116,200 Malaysians visited Japan between January and June this year, an increase of 62.5 per cent over the same period last year.
“The number of inbound tourists from Malaysia also shot up last year to 176,713 from the previous year’s 130,237.
“Tokyo and Osaka seem to be the most sought after destinations, owing to the popularity of Tokyo Disneyland and the Universal Studios in Osaka,” he told a joint press conference by JNTO and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) yesterday.
Matta has named Japan its “Favourite Destination Partner” for Matta Fair 2014, making it the second time for Japan.
The upcoming fair will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) from Sept 5 to 7.
Organising chairman Rocky Kho said the visa waiver by the Japanese government could be the reason why more Malaysians have been holidaying in Japan since last year.
“Most travel agents encourage Malaysians to visit Japan in the first half of the year, because the cherry blossoms or sakura season which begins in January in Okinawa and ends in May at Hokkaido,” he added.
A travel guide for Muslim visitors, containing a list of halal restaurants and mosques in major cities, has also made it easier for Malaysian Muslims to travel to Japan.
Manabe estimated that about 20 per cent of Malaysian tourist arrivals every year were Muslims. He said there were more Muslim-friendly facilities than before, especially in airports and some hotels.