'Malaysia expects 7 lakh Indian tourists this year’

'Malaysia expects 7 lakh Indian tourists this year’ Chennai: Cashing in on the uncertain global market conditions, the Government of Malaysia has set a target of attracting more than seven lakh Indian nationals this year, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

"Despite negative sentiments prevailing in the global scenario, Indians prefer to visit Malaysia and Singapore instead of going to New Delhi. During economic slowdown, we always pray more so that we get more tourists from India," Ministry of Tourism (Malaysia), International Marketing- Director, Zulkifly Md Said, told reporters here.

He said in 2011 the total Indians visited Malaysia was 5,01,828, while in 2012 up to September 30, 2012 it grew by two per cent to reach 5,14,926 people.

"We have set a target of reaching seven lakh people this year (till March 31, 2013) and for the 2013-14 (financial year), we are hoping to attract over 7,80,000 people",he said.

To a query, he said tourist packages for Indians were offered at 25 per cent cheaper than to other foreign nationals.

Senior officials from Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia were here for a promotional campaign for tourist agents and planners.