News From : DagangHalal.com (04 Aug 2010)
KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 (Bernama) — The Tourism Ministry hopes the country’s new tourism product – Art Tourism – will help realise its target of collecting RM15.5 billion in revenue from the mega sales carnivals this year.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said Saturday she was confident the target could be achieved in view of the increasing number of tourists interested in buying art products, particularly paintings.
She spoke to reporters after the official launch of Art Auction Malaysia.
Speaking at the launch, Ng said Art Tourism, which promoted the richness of Malaysian art, would get an added boost with the inaugural Art Auction Malaysia on Aug 8.
She said Art Auction Malaysia would be a landmark event in Malaysian art history and a first step towards establishing a strong secondary art market in the country.
The auction, which will have 62 paintings worth over RM1 million, is organised by Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers Sdn Bhd with the support of the National Art Gallery and BrandLaureate.
Ng said the auction would set the price benchmarks for artists and their works at certain periods of their career, redress past anomalies, create a truly credible secondary market and enhance artists’ credibility.
She said that as a business, the art market was one that was easily globalised as the products were exclusive and in limited resource, thus eliminating any need to compete with the local products or market.
“Unlike China, South Korea and Indonesia, Malaysia still has a long way to go in promoting art as an investment class. If we were to learn from these countries, the emergence of auction houses in the market will spark new interests in art collecting,” she said.
Although galleries and private dealers had functioned well in the past, especially in establishing the primary art market, the absence of a credible and open avenue to buy and sell artwork had in a way limited the growth of art collection in the country, she said.
She said she hoped that the inaugural 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism Festival 2010 (MCAT 2010) this month would serve as a launch pad for the entry of Malaysia as a serious player in the regional art scene, alongside international art exhibitions like the Beijing Contemporary Art Fair, the Dubai Contemporary Art Fair, the Vienna Art Fair and the Hong Kong Art and Antiques Fair.
Touching on the mega sales carnivals, she said the campaign had been a success because the number of tourist arrivals each year during the sale months had been increasing.
“In 2009, tourist arrivals during the third quarter of the year, that is during which the carnival falls, was recorded at 6.03 million compared to 5.37 million during the same period in 2008. This indicates an increase of 12.4 per cent,” she said.
“In terms of revenue in 2009, shopping amounted to 28.3 per cent or RM15.11 billion of the total tourist receipts of RM53.4 billion, after accommodation at 31.1 per cent and food and beverage at 17.4 per cent,” she added.
For this year, the number of tourist arrivals until May was 9.6 million, an increase of 4.2 per cent over the same period last year, and the tourist receipts for the first quarter of this year amounted to RM13 billion, an increase of 7.5 per cent over the same period last year, she said.
“In line with this, aggressive efforts are being put into new tourism products targeting and attracting high-spending tourists who will have a direct positive impact on the country’s revenue,” she said.
Later, at the launch of the World Golden Chef Competition and Expo 2010 at the Mines Resort City in Seri Kembangan near here, Dr Ng said she hoped that more “halal” Chinese cuisine would be developed in Malaysia.
The three-day event, organised by The Malaysia, Selangor & Federal Territory Ku Su Shin Choong Hung Restaurant Association (Ku Su) and supported by the Tourism Ministry and the World Association of Chinese Cuisine from China, kicked off yesterday with more than 50 participants from around the world competing for the title.