PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been ranked ninth in the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) list of 10 most visited countries, with 24.6 million international tourist arrivals in 2010.
Topping the list is France with 76.8 million international visitors, followed by the United States, China, Spain, Italy, Britain, Turkey and Germany.
Malaysia overtook Mexico which recorded 22.4 million tourist arrivals to be in 10th spot.
Malaysian ambassador to the Philippines Datuk Seri Ibrahim Saad highlighted the list on his Twitter account (@dribrahimsaad) on Feb 14.
“We should be proud of this, seeing that we are the smallest country on the list and our tourist arrivals are almost as high as our population,” he said in a telephone interview.
He said tourists were attracted to Malaysia because of its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and friendliness of the people, adding that this left a good impression on tourists.
“The Tourism Ministry should consider refining its promotion strategies as current campaigns mostly feature islands and beaches.
“We must take a multi-pronged approach and feature a variety of attractions, such as shopping destinations and the small towns,” he said.