The overwhelming demand from foreign tourists for handicraft products to take home as souvernirs has helped to expand the handicraft industry, said Malaysian Handicrafts director-general Mohd Kamil Mohd Ali.
He said statistics showed that domestic sales increased by RM26.3 million, from RM243.7 million in 2007 to RM270 million in 2009.
Batik craft was the biggest contributor with 51.4 per cent or RM138.7 million involving handicraft sales in 2009, he added.
Mohd Kamil was speaking at the launch of the Premier Craft Interactive Programme by Langkawi Member of Parliament Datuk Paduka Abu Bakar Taib at the handicraft complex here today.
Three hundred trainees and staff of the Langkawi National Service Training Camp took part in the programme which involved making batik, including batik brushing and colouring competition.
Mohd Kamil said on average, a batik entrepreneur generated products worth about RM253,000 annually.