Several popular American TV hosts are planning to capture the colours of Malaysia. The programmes will be aired to viewers in the United States and other parts of the world.
A VISIT to her chiropractor in midtown Manhattan led popular television personality Martha Stewart to discover a new colourful destination to feature in her show.
While waiting for her appointment, Stewart, aka America’s Domestic Goddess, decided to drop by at the Tourism Malaysia office next door.
The tycoon cook, author and magazine publisher has been back a few times since, each time leaving with more brochures on Malaysian attractions.
Obviously impressed, the New York-based entrepreneur has decided to make a trip to Kuala Lumpur and Sabah this May. And she will be bringing along her crew to film scenes of Malaysian life.
Tourism Malaysia vice-president/director for Eastern USA, Caribbean, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay Salahuddin Mohd Ariffin said Stewart has confirmed she would attend the launch of Colours of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on May 22 and the Pesta Ka’amatan (harvest festival) in Sabah.
Both events will be featured in her daytime programme which will also showcase Malaysian cuisine, handicraft and culture to her fans in the United States and many other countries.
Stewart’s syndicated talk show, the Martha Stewart Show, is broadcast throughout the world and includes several segments related to cooking, interior design, gardening, crafts, and other domestic arts topics.
Salahuddin said Malaysia had also attracted the attention of another TV personality – Samantha Brown of Travel Channel who will fly to Malaysia in March in search of adventure.
Brown is known for her Travel Channel shows such as Girl Meets Hawaii,Great Hotels, Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, Great Weekends, and Passport to China.
And soon, Brown will be introducing her viewers to Malaysia as she takes a train ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.
“Both programmes will not only reach out to an American audience but also viewers all over the world and will provide good exposure for Malaysia,” said Salahuddin.
He added that there were also plans by Project Explorer, an online global travel series targeted at students, to produce a documentary on Malaysia.
The film crew is expected to visit the country in April.
Designed for family and classroom, ProjectExplorer.org provides American students with access to people and places through virtual field trips showcasing destinations around the world.
Malaysia has also attracted the interest of DeafNation, an organisation representing millions of deaf Americans, which has an online video series – Around the World Tour – to introduce holiday destinations to the deaf community.
Salahuddin said Americans are an important tourism market for Malaysia – they are the second most important long haul tourists after the British. In 2008, 223,241 Americans visited Malaysia, contributing RM658mil in tourism revenue.
And even as the US went into acute recession last year, there was a slight increase in tourists from the the country – a total 228,571 Americans visited Malaysia, staying an average 9.29 days each.
While the New York Times has placed Kuala Lumpur as one of 31 places to visit in 2010, readers of Global Traveler magazine voted Malaysia as the second Best International Destination after Spain. Italy came in third, Thailand fourth and Fiji, fifth.
Global Traveler caters to luxury business travellers and 25,000 readers had participated in the survey.
The readers also voted Malaysia Airlines as the best airline in South-east Asia, while KLIA came in sixth in the world’s best airport category.