Last updated Sunday, November 23, 2014 07:21pm

Malaysia's largest shopping mall Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian is the destionation of choice for Uzbeks. — AFP picMalaysia's largest shopping mall Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian is the destionation of choice for Uzbeks. — AFP picKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — More tourists from Uzbekistan have placed Malaysia as one of their favourite destinations due to the tourist-friendly facilities available and unique cuisine, said Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) director-general Zulkifly Md Said.

He said that Uzbeks also find Malaysia a Muslim-friendly destination, which practiced moderation, and this has provided a big advantage to Malaysia as a majority of the people in Uzbekistan are Muslims.

“They feel safe, secure and they can freely enjoy their stay and travel throughout the country,” Zulkifly told Bernama at the one-day Uzbekistan tourism road show held here, recently.

The road show, organised by the Uzbekistan embassy here, was aimed at creating awareness among Malaysians about Uzbekistan and participated by travel agents from Uzbekistan who offered flights and accommodation packages, while at the same time seeking cooperation from local travel agents.

Speaking during the road show, Zulkifly said that ITC, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, welcomed any effort to work hand-in-hand with the Uzbek government in promoting tourism between the two countries.

“It is a good thing that Malaysia has a lot of diversity within the country, ranging from the beaches, islands and vibrant cities,” he said, when asked to comment on the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 campaign.

“There is a great variety in this VMY. I am fully convinced that the VMY campaign will drive a lot of attention,” he said at an afternoon tea session with reporters recently.

He said that one other plus point for Malaysia was its “healthy growth” over the last few years, pointing out that the economic growth projection of between 5.0 to 5.5 per cent this year showed that Malaysia has a “healthy economy.”

However, he also feels that in order to attract more tourists to Malaysia during the campaign, there should be common efforts in order to create demand and expectation.

He said that all the cities in Malaysia and not only Kuala Lumpur should participated is such efforts to ensure the success of the campaign.

To create awareness on what Malaysia can offer to tourists, a good amount of homework and research should also be done on “what you want to present to the world,” he said. — Bernama

MMO Instagram