Truly Asia

Malaysia Works on Boosting European Arrivals

While Malaysia looks to boost its image and tourism strategy, the country has announced ambitious targets to more than double the total number of European travellers in years to come

Despite the termination of many non-stop flights between Europe and Malaysia, the preparation for Malaysia Visit Year 2020 looks like greatly stimulating European market. The Malaysian government has begun pouring money back into its tourism promotion and infrastructure, one of the most dynamic economic sectors for the country.

The campaign will be targeting total international arrivals of 36 million travellers by the end of 2020, of which 2.5 million could come from Europe. This is to be compared with some 26.5 million arrivals last year including 0.99 million European visitors.

Recently, some important events have been kindling growing optimism for Malaysian tourism authorities. “We are very pleased by the recent launch of four weekly non-stop services from Doha to Penang by Qatar Airways which allows quick connections to some 50 cities across Europe. And we feel thrilled by the announcement of Condor launching three weekly services from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur from this coming November”, indicated Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia.

Tourism Malaysia has signed marketing partnerships with Emirates and Condor to promote the destination in Europe. The tourism agency and the Ministry of Tourism signed collaborative partnerships and alliances with European trade partners as a key driver to spur growth of visitors to Malaysia in the run up to the Visit Malaysia Year campaign 2020.


Among them is a recently signed partnership with ECTAA (Confederation of European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association) for Malaysia as its Preferred Destination Partner 2018 as well as with the Confederation of Spanish Travel Agents and the Association of Portuguese Travel Agencies. In September, Langkawi will also welcome PATA Travel Mart, attracting 2,000 global trade professionals. And, last but not least, Malaysia has officially been confirmed as the Official ITB Berlin 2019 Partner Country – a major boost for the destination as it will be the opportunity to highlight the coming Visit Malaysia Year 2020. They integrate in the campaign UNWTO “Travel-Enjoy-Respect”. While both the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Malaysia are now working to launch a renewed image of the destination, the country will be positioned for the time being as a family-friendly destination as well as a paradise for nature lovers.

“We have for now a clear message to position the country as a safe family-friendly, familyfun destination. We also want to emphasize that Malaysia is a great nature paradise, especially with its pristine rainforests and its beautiful coastline. We need also to stress back the sense of welcome and dedication of our people towards foreign travellers. This is actually part of our culture”, added the Tourism Malaysia Director General.

Other niche themes will look at promoting themes such as medical tourism, culture, education or gastronomy.

A number of breath-taking attractions are being promoted at ITB this year, none the least of which is the “world’s most spectacular pedestrian bridge” – also the longest free span and curved bridge in the world – the SkyBridge in Langkawi, or the Habitat on the isle of Penang – a structure rising above the forest from which one can obtain an incredible 360° view over the island.