As part of the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign, Tourism Malaysia is casting its net wider than ever before in search of potential new arrivals. One destination that’s been identified as a potential growth sector is the Middle East, where a delegation from Malaysia is currently working to secure more visits for the holiday season in the months ahead.
On 23rd February, Tourism Malaysia sent a delegation to Qatar, in preparation for Saudi Arabia’s premier travel and trade event: the Jeddah International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (JTTX) 2020. Scheduled to run from 26 to 28 February, the expo will feature Malaysia prominently as one of the premier holiday destinations for travellers from the Middle East.
The Malaysian delegation includes representatives from the nation’s hotels, tours and travel agent sector, along with officials from Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Penang Global Tourism and the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC). Mr. Mohamad Shahir Bin Sabarudin, the Malaysian embassy official in Doha, also attended some of the initial events, held yesterday (23/2).
“The Gulf Cooperation Council – or the GCC – represents a land of opportunity for the Malaysian tourism industry, and we are delighted to visit Qatar to showcase our impressive line-up of tourism offerings to the local travel trade,” said Bin Sabarudin, when commenting on the value of the Qatari market to Malaysia’s tourism sector. “As a Muslim-majority country, our shared cultural ties make Malaysia one of Southeast Asia’s most visitor-friendly destinations for travellers from the Middle East. We are confident that this roadshow will further strengthen business ties and inspire more people here to discover our wonderful country,” he added.
Led by Mr. Shahrin Bin Mokhtar, Director of Tourism Malaysia in the Dubai office, Malaysia’s representatives attended a B2B travel and tourism roadshow at the Westin Doha on 23rd February 2020. The attendees were treated to presentations by Qatar Airways, MHTC and Penang Global Tourism, each of whom took the opportunity to showcase the unique attractions and growth opportunities available.
Malaysia has been named the top destination for Muslim travellers for nine consecutive years (2011–2019) by Singapore-based Crescent Rating, which is the world’s leading authority on Halal Travel. Total tourist arrivals from West Asia stood at 309,224 in 2019, while the Qatari market contributed a total of 4,089 tourists.
Qatar Airways currently operates 21 flights from Kuala Lumpur to Doha, four flights from Penang to Doha and five flights from Langkawi to Doha each week. Together, the flights have the capacity to cater to more than 9,000 passengers weekly. The Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign aims to attract more than 30 million tourists to Malaysia this year, with a target of approximately KD 7.4 billion (RM100 billion) in tourist receipts.