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Malaysia to promote durian as tourism product
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15:05, July 02, 2007

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The King of Fruits, durian, could be promoted as a tourism product to attract more tourists to Malaysia, said deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, localmedia reported on Monday.

The tourist potential was evident from the overwhelming response from the public to the Great Durian Festival 2007 held inBukit Gantang near Taiping, northern state of Perakon Sunday.

"The status (of the durian festival) will be elevated to national level next year and perhaps international level the following year," the New Times Straits quoted Najib as saying.

More than 10,000 people thronged the festival and caused a massive traffic jam stretching several kilometers.

In his opening speech, Najib officially announced Bukit Gantangas the promotion center for durians and urged the relevant authorities to aggressively promote the fruit.

"Branding is very important to ensure the success of durians asa tourism product," Najib said.

About 30,000 fruits were made available to the public.

The current allocation of 100,000 ringgit (29,412 U.S. dollars)for the festival would be increased should the need arise next year, according to Najib.

Source: Xinhua

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