LAUNCH OF AIG TRAVEL ASSIST
YB DATO` SRI AZALINA DATO` OTHMAN SAID
Minister of Tourism, Malaysia
IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE
MR. JEFF RUTLEDGE
President of AIG Travel Assist
MR. MARK PAVLIDES,
General Manager of AIG Travel Assist
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and Foreign Diplomats
Members of the Media
Ladies & Gentlemen
Assalamualaikum,`salam sejahtera` and a very good morning to everyone here today. To all our Muslim guests who are observing the holy month of Ramadan, may I wish you `Selamat Berpuasa`.
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, I would like to thank the organiser for inviting me to officiate this morning’s event, the AIG Travel Assist’s first assistance centre in the Asian region.
2. At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the management of AIG Travel Assist for choosing Kuala Lumpur as your choice location in setting up the company’s first assistance centre in the Asian region. The timing is perfect as the economies of Asia are growing. According to the World Tourism Organization, intra-regional traffic will form a big part of this growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
3. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) estimates that tourist traffic into this region will grow at an annual rate of 6.5% over the next 25 years and that, as a region will welcome close to 400 million visitors by the year 2020. WTO also expects this region to overtake the Americas as the second most sought-after regional destination by 2020.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
4. AIG Travel Assist’s decision to base their Asian region assistance centre in Kuala Lumpur is a tremendous boost to our efforts of high profiling Malaysia as the choice destination among travellers from all parts of the world. There are several reasons as to why Malaysia was chosen as the hub for AIG Travel Assist in Asia. Among the reasons are;
5. The political stability endorsed by the Barisan Nasional Government creates a harmonious and conducive environment for foreign investors and business conglomerates like AIG Travel Assist to set up their offices and conduct business here.
6. Good foreign exchange, sound infrastructure with state-of-the-art telecommunications, plus a well-diverse multi cultural society and the fact that English is widely spoken, are some of the reasons why Malaysia appeals to foreigners.
7. For that matter, it only goes to show that the country’s strong fundamentals, tourist and business-friendly policies are all set to attract more people from around the world to visit us.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
8. With all these plus factors combined, I’m confident that AIG Travel Assist’s venture, based here in Kuala Lumpur will be a tremendous success.
With those words, I am pleased to declare the AIG Travel Assist’s Kuala Lumpur based assistance centre – officially open.