In the run-up to ITB Berlin 2019 with Malaysia as Official Partner Country, the nation’s new government reiterates its dedication to growing the tourism industry
With the final count-down on to ITB Berlin 2019, the Official Partner Country, Malaysia, has reiterated its strong determination to supporting tourism as a key driver for the nation’s economy
At present, the tourism industry accounts for around 15% of the nation’s economy, a workforce of some 3.2 million people, and 22.7% of Malaysia’s total employment figure. In order to further develop tourism in this country in Southeast Asia, Tourism Malaysia is focusing on improving scheduled air services and chartered flights by partnering with various airlines.
Speaking at the recent Travel Mart of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in Langkawi, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said: “Last year we welcomed a total of 25.9 million tourists and registered RM 82.2 billion in receipts. We are looking to attract 30 million tourists by 2020.” The deputy prime minister emphasised that tourism was a key economic factor and of great importance to the new administration, and assured all its investors that Malaysia would remain a strategic partner for their investment plans.
DUE TO THE FAVOURABLE EXCHANGE RATE MALAYSIA IS A VALUE-FOR-MONEY DESTINATION
VALUE FOR MONEY, GROWTH IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY AND NEW ATTRACTIONS
Malaysia’s tourism attractions are as diverse as the country itself. They range from million-year old rainforests, islands and beaches to shopping and luxury holidays. “Due to the favourable exchange rate Malaysia is a value-for-money destination. Hotels, food, beverages and holiday attractions are among the world’s lowest-priced, while high-quality all the same”, said Dr Wan Azizah. According to the deputy prime minister, since 2017 the hotel sector has expanded by 250 new hotels, an increase of 8.5%, and a further 130 hotels featuring 26,000 rooms are planned. “We are pleased that well-known brands such as Westin, Mercure, Sheraton, W, St. Regis, Four Seasons and Hyatt have recognised how valuable Malaysia is for their expansion and investment plans”, she said.
Impressive tourist attractions currently under development include the Desaru Coast featuring a water park, golf courses and a conference centre in Johor, an ultramodern complex in the coastal city of Malacca, and the 20th Century Fox World theme park in Genting Highlands. Dr Wan Ismail added: “Malaysia is also an ideal destination for MICE and business events as well as weddings and honeymoons. Malaysia is also drawing attention as a filming location.
MALAYSIA BOOSTS ITS INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AS THE PARTNER COUNTRY OF ITB BERLIN 2019
“We are deeply grateful to receive the title of ‘Official Partner Country of ITB Berlin’. It draws global attention and has the potential to reach out to key decision-makers and leading industry players in the region”, is how Malaysia’s Tourism Minister Tuan Mohamaddin Ketapi valued the significance of the country’s role as partner country of ITB Berlin 2019.
“Our advertising and promotional campaigns have been enhanced with digital marketing on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in order to boost our international presence and reach out to an increasingly mobile and techsavvy tourism market”, the Minister said. This year, Malaysia was also awarded the title of Preferred Destination Partner of the European Travel Agencies and Tour Operator’s Association (ECTAA), which consists of 32 travel agent and tour operator associations from 30 European countries with 70,000 enterprises.
In positioning Malaysia as a winter holiday destination and tapping into the luxury market, the nation’s tourism authorities are also working closely with British Marella Cruises (known formerly as Thomson Cruises). The Marella will be homeporting in Langkawi, bringing in a potential 7,200 cruise passengers this year-end. Another major development is the upcoming establishment of TUI Group in Malaysia, the first in Southeast Asia. “The presence of TUI here on our shores is a testament of the confidence that the organisation has in Malaysia,” concludes the Minister.
Hall 26a / Stand 117
Photo : Celebrating arrival of new Condor flight from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur