People, Travel

Kish, Penang Islands Seek Partnership

Kish, Penang Islands Seek PartnershipKish, Penang Islands Seek Partnership

Ambassador of Malaysia to Tehran, Raja Nushirwan Zainal Abidin, in his first visit to Kish Island extolled the high tourism potentials of the island and promised to follow the issue of partnership between Kish and the Malaysian popular tourist resort of Penang.

He met with Kish Free Zone Organization (KFZO) senior advisor, Rasoul Keshtpour, to explore avenues for the expansion of bilateral ties between Kish Island and Malaysia, according to KFZO website.

The Malaysian official said Iran, like Malaysia, has been successful in domestic tourism but in order to boost international tourism, the right flow of information about the country’s potentials and facilities is needed. “At the global level, Iran suffers from lack of correct information and advertising. Thus the foreigners who visit the country are greatly surprised by the level of security they experience”, noted the ambassador.

Creating a positive image is a must for attracting both investors and tourists, he asserted.

Zainal Abidin proposed Kish Island to be included in the Malaysia-Dubai travel packages offered to Malaysian travelers as an incentive to increase the number of Malaysians traveling to Kish.

Exchange of tourists between Malaysian and Kish Island, declaring Kish and Penang Islands as sister cities, investment by Malaysian investors in Kish development projects and transferring Malaysian pilgrims from Kish to Mecca as an alternative transit route to Dubai and Karachi, were among the major issues discussed in the meeting.

Keshtpour also announced that a ceremony called “The Kish Night” is to be held in Malaysia to expose the island to Malaysians.

Statistics show that in the first half of 2014, about 50,000 Iranians traveled to Malaysia while Malaysian travelers to Iran in the same period were hardly one-tenth of the figure.

It has also been several years that an MOU on partnership between Kish Island and the archipelago of Langkawi in Malaysia was signed but no further action to enforce the MOU has been taken.