Malaysia offers all kinds of intriguing events to entice tourists year round

Malaysia nowadays might be in the news for all the wrong reasons, but the Malaysian government nonetheless is not leaving any stone unturned to promote tourism in the country. If nature there offers beautiful white sand beaches, lush rainforests, hills and one of the most bio-diverse regions, the manmade structures add their own marvels. There are the limestone Batu caves, the grand Jamek mosque, the picturesque Georgetown inner city and the ever so famous Petronas twin towers. But that’s not all. In its bid to increase tourism, the country hosts quite a few events all year round.

So besides the popular Malaysian Grand Prix, which ended March 30, there was also the recent Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The four-day event, an annual affair, has just completed six editions and promises to “Colour the sky” yet again. The event, hosted at the Millenium Monument, showcased a spectacular fleet of free-flying hot air balloons from around a dozen countries. Among the highlights were some special-shaped balloons like the one from United Kingdom named the Flying Superbike. There was also the iced-cream cone-shaped one and the Darth Vader balloon from Belgium, a heart-shaped one from Taiwan, Buzz— a green monster balloon — from the U.S. and a UNICEF balloon with the slogan “Flying high for kids”.

The hot air balloons, propelled by propane gas, basically function on the Archimedes principle of buoyancy. Thus, with a lot of heat generated in the baskets, the apparatus calls for adequate safety measures. Mindful of this, the organisers engaged chase crew in plenty.

“We are delighted to once again host such talented balloonists. This event offers tourists a unique attraction to visit Malaysia,” said Mohammad Sobri, Chairman of the Fiesta. Apart from this, various others activities were arranged for families attending the spectacle. My personal favourites were, to name a few, helicopter joyrides, water zorbing and wall climbing.

The island nation with its unique ‘one-island-one-resort’ concept has, with its packed calendar of events, witnessed an increase in revenue from the tourism sector year on year. Eyeing a record number of 28 million tourists this year, the country has announced 2014 as ‘Visit Malaysia Year 2014’.

General Dato Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, who recently visited India, stated, “There is an aim to attract 100,000 more tourists this year.”

The country has accordingly lined up quite a number of interesting events ahead. These include the Kuala Lumpur Festival, the Borneo Jazz Festival, the Sabah Fest and the upcoming “Life in Colour” — the world’s largest paint party in the country. Reason enough, perhaps, to check out the flights to Malaysia this season.