05.10.06 - Haze Not
Affecting M'sia's Tourism Industry
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 (Bernama)
-- The present haze situation in this country
has not affected the tourism industry as it is
not alarming, said Tourism Malaysia
director-general Mirza Mohammad Taiyab.
However, he said, as past
experience had shown, haze would definitely put
a dent on the industry if the current situation
deteriorated and foreign media played up the
"Let's hope it doesn't get any
worse," he told reporters here today when
commenting on the present smog problem in the
Mirza was speaking at a news
conference to announce the Asia Pacific
Ecotourism Conference 2006 (APECO 2006), to be
held from Nov 2 to 5 in Taman Negara, Pahang.
Baffled by the over-exposure of
the issue by the foreign media in the past,
Mirza said smog was a constant problem in most
major cities in the world even in those
classified as cleanest cities.
"I remember being in Tokyo and
the API (Air Pollutant Index) at that time was
between 80 and 100, and there was no fuss about
"Here, they made it a major
issue," he said, adding that since the worst
haze in late 1990's, Malaysia had only been
experiencing what could be considered as average
Asked on steps taken by Tourism
Malaysia to ensure continuous arrival of
tourists during the haze, Mirza said it was
focusing more on haze-free tourist destinations.
"We talk more about areas that
are not affected or are badly affected. We have
to play up these places because we don't want
the haze to affect our industry," he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Association
of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) vice-president
Lee Choon Loong said so far the association had
not received reports from members saying they
were affected by the present haze situation.
On the conference, Lee said APECO
2006 was limited to only 160 participants due to
"This is the first time a major
conference is being held in Taman Negara and we
hope by having it there, we are promoting Taman
Negara at the international level," he said.
For details of the conference,
visit the website at www.apeco2006.com or call