Malaysia had its first art auction last weekend pushing the nation toward the stature of its neighbor, Indonesia:
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said Malaysian art could be promoted to the global travel market. […] Ng, who is on a four-day tourism promotion campaign to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China, said she believed that Hong Kong would be among the strongest markets for the new product given the strength of the art community here. The first art auction, which ended last weekend, involved 62 paintings worth over RM1 million. It was organised by Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers Sdn Bhd with the support of the National Arts Gallery and BrandLaureate.
Ng said Malaysia would also continue to promote other tourism products such as the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, Food festival, Shoe Festival and the F1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix. Malaysia has set the target of reaching 36 million annual tourist arrivals and RM3 billion in weekly tourism receipts by 2020. “We have drawn up strategies to build density, develop clusters and high-value sectors in the industry,” she said. She said the government was very committed in promoting the tourism sector because it contributed nine per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the industry was among 11 sectors that had been identified as priority areas in the National Key Economic Area (NKEA).
Art Tourism A New Selling Point for Malaysia (Bernama.com–The Malaysian National News Agency)