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Malaysia carnival shows positive Kiwi attitude

Malaysia carnival shows positive Kiwi attitude

Ask New Zealanders what they enjoy when they visit Malaysia and most will point to great food and the country’s diverse culture.

It was this combination that drew thousands of Kiwis to the Malaysia Carnival in Auckland last weekend.

People queued to get favourite dishes such as nasi lemak, satay and peanut sauce, roti canai and char keuy teow. Hanie Noor, a member of the food vendors group, says people who have not yet been to Malaysia were amazed by the range of foods.

Zalina Ahmad, Tourism Malaysia’s director in New Zealand, says the cultural entertainers were well received too.

“New Zealanders like to experience the culture of the people who live in this country,” she says.

“You can see that from the response to things like the Pasifika and the Diwali festivals, Kapa Haka competitions and other annual carnivals. Malaysia had not staged a festival in Auckland since 2007 and in Visit Malaysia Year we thought it was an appropriate time to host it.”

The travel industry was also represented by STA Travel and Andrew Gay, Managing Director of STA Travel New Zealand, says his team were busy not only answering questions about what you can do and see in Malaysia, but also making bookings for families wanting to holiday there.

“People at the carnival were very positive about Malaysia,” he says and we were pleased to be able to work closely with Tourism Malaysia in showcasing the destination.

Dzulkefli Zakaria, Area Manager New Zealand of Malaysia Airlines, says Kiwis are showing great support, backing up the lift in bookings on the airline’s daily Auckland – Kuala Lumpur service.

More New Zealanders are travelling to Malaysia Zalina Ahmad says. Statistics New Zealand’s short term New Zealand-resident traveller departure figures show in the year to the end of August nearly 21,000 travelled to Malaysia – up 20.3 per cent on the prior year.

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