In an initiative that forms part of the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, Tourism Malaysia and TUI Group are set to roll out a ‘Fly & Cruise’ programme later in the year, to help drive growth in Malaysia’s tourism sector. The announcement was made during a recent visit to Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture by the TUI Group.
Starting from 20th December 2018 until 29th March 2019, TUI Group will provide a series of three direct fortnightly flights to Langkawi from three UK airports (Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester). Passengers will spend one night in Langkawi before embarking on a 14-day cruise that includes destinations such as Penang, Port Klang and Melaka. The new scheme is expected to bring around 7,200 passengers to Malaysia in the first year of operation; a marked increase in European tourist arrivals that will boost the country’s cruise tourism and bring greater exposure to several remote locations. The Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign has targeted a total of 36 million tourists to Malaysia and expects to generate RM168 billion in tourist receipts for the country.
Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab is the Director General of Tourism Malaysia, YBhg. He has welcomed the move from TUI Group and is positive about its implications for tourism in his country:
“We are very happy about TUI’s decision to offer flights and cruises from Langkawi. This initiative will strongly boost the visibility of Malaysia across all European source markets. At the same time, our position as an international transportation hub will increase and add value to our economy.”
He added, “This programme will see a new chapter of collaboration with Europe’s biggest agents and will firmly put Malaysia on the cruise tourism map.”
Frank Vahldiek, Director International Partnerships of TUI Group said, “Our strategic priority is to drive growth in all-year destinations – and Asia is one of the key growth regions. Our European customers show an ever-growing interest to visit countries such as Malaysia.”
TUI Group is the world’s leading tourism group operating in around 180 destinations worldwide. Domiciled in Germany, the company employs 67,000 people in over 100 countries and serves more than 20 million customers. TUI operates around 330 group-owned hotels and resorts with premium brands such as RIU and Robinson, as well as 15 cruise ships ranging from the MS Europa and MS Europa 2 luxury class vessels to the Mein Schiff fleet of TUI Cruises and the vessels of Marella Cruises in the UK.