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Tourism Ministry to promote investments in boutique heritage hotels and resorts

KUALA LUMPUR: The Tourism Ministry will encourage more investments in boutique heritage hotels and resorts from both local and foreign investors, said Tourism Minister Datuk Ng Yen Yen on Wednesday, June 9.

“We already have a success story in Clove Hall in Penang. They only have five rooms, it is a new category of hotels. They preserved the heritage building and we have given them the recognition of a boutique home stay experience hotel,” Ng said during a press conference to announce the collaboration between i-City and the Ministry of Tourism to hold Malaysia’s first Ramadan Summer Festival.

Ng added that Clove Hall is making a profit and the owner has indicated that he will be investing in another two more properties with a similar concept.

“These are success stories we want to show. Malaysia needs this kind of boutique hotels because some people would want to come and stay for a longer term and experience a homely environment,” said Ng.

She added that the ministry also hoped to promote other properties during its roadshows overseas.

“ It never occurred to many to invest here, so we are opening their eyes to the opportunities and success stories," Ng said.

On the issue of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, Ng said that despite efforts from the ministry to promote the programme in the Middle East, the response towards it has been lukewarm, with the exception of Iran.

“Most Middle Easterns do not see a reason to stay in a place for long-term, they prefer to come and go,” said Ng.

The MM2H has attracted over 13,000 participants from around the world. Statistics provided by the Tourism Ministry showed that the highest number of MM2H participants in 2009 came from Iran with 212, followed by Japan with 169 participants and the United Kingdom with 162 participants.

Collectively from 2002 to 2008, participants from China formed the largest group with 2,298 participants, while Bangladesh is second with 1,732 participants and the UK third with 1,495 participants.

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