KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has gone another step to aggressively put Malaysia on the map by promoting “art tourism”.
“We are positioning Malaysian art as a tourism product. We encourage tourists to visit the country not only because of food, beaches or shopping but admire homegrown art pieces,” said Ng during an exclusive interview with BBC World News’ Fast:Track host Fiona Foster at the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism 2010 (MCAT 2010) held at Galeri Seri Perdana here yesterday. .
Ng added that most tourists viewed Malaysia as a developing country which had not attained cosmopolitan status. She hoped positioning local art as a tourism component would boost the country’s image.
“Malaysia has talented artists who have exhibited beautiful contemporary art pieces. Hopefully tourists will purchase these pieces as souvenirs,” she said.
MCAT is an innovative tourism product by the Tourism Ministry. The festival, which ends in September, features internationally-acclaimed Malaysian artists like Abdul Multhalib Musa, Fauzan Omar, Annuar Rashid, Yusoff Ghani, Eng Hwee Chu and A. Jegadeva.
Fast:Track delivers the latest travel news from the industry itself, offering insights into exclusive and desirable places to visit while looking at issues affecting both the business and leisure travellers.
The programme is aired on Saturday (6.30am and 8.30pm) and Sunday (2.30am and 2.30pm) on BBC World (Astro Channel 512).
Fast:Track’s special on Malaysia features MCAT 2010, Taman Negara National Park and Foster’s homestay experience in Kampung Sungai Haji Dorani, Sabak Bernam, Selangor.
“Malaysia is a fascinating, picturesque place. Through this programme, viewers will get to know what the country has to offer for tourists than a regular holiday,” said Foster, a TV presenter and journalist, who has also spent several years working in the United States.