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Revive and Reconnect: Tourism Malaysia Ramps Up International Roadshows
30 September 2022 | Written by Chris Alexander

With borders open and international travel back up and running, Tourism Malaysia has been busy promoting the country’s attractions to a range of global markets. In the past month, officials and operators have been attending roadshows and promotional events, from Moscow and Istanbul to Tokyo, Paris and Ho Chi Minh City.

From 12 to 15 September, Tourism Malaysia travelled to three major cities in Vietnam, namely Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi. Led by Mr. Mohd Shahrir Mohd Ali, Director of International Promotion (Southeast Asia), the delegation included Malaysia-based airlines, travel agents, hoteliers and product owners.

In 2019, Vietnam contributed 400,346 arrivals to Malaysia – an increase of 6.6% in comparison to the previous year. Since borders reopened, Vietnam has been the 11th biggest source market for arrivals to Malaysia.

Further afield, Tourism Malaysia has been taking the Truly Malaysia Roadshow to destinations such as Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkey. From 12 to 20 September, the event travelled to Moscow, Tashkent, Almaty and Istanbul.

The roadshow provides a forum through which Malaysian sellers and local buyers can engage in business-to-business (B2B) sessions and product presentations to revive, reconnect and create new partnerships.

“One of the biggest draws is Malaysia’s racial and cultural diversity, resulting in a mixed yet harmonious legacy that manifests itself in our festivals, architecture, clothing, language, cuisine, and other aspects of daily life,” said Mr. Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof, Acting Deputy Director General (Planning) of Tourism Malaysia, during the first session in Moscow.

From 20 to 22 September, Tourism Malaysia also joined the International and French Travel Market (IFTM) Top Resa 2022. The three-day travel expo was headed by Libra Haniff, who is the director for Tourism Malaysia Paris. Prior to the pandemic, France contributed 141,661 arrivals to Malaysia each year; Haniff and his team are working to restore these numbers in Q4 of 2022.

From 22 to 25 September Tourism Malaysia joined the 43rd iteration of one of Japan’s largest tourism fairs, Tourism Expo Japan (TEJ). Held at Tokyo Big Sight in the nation’s capital, the four-day event was a great opportunity to reconnect with Japanese travellers and encourage them to visit Malaysia in 2022.

Malaysia received 424,694 tourist arrivals from Japan in 2019, followed by 74,383 in 2020 and 3,114 in 2021. Tourists from Japan are regularly in the top 10 for both arrivals and expenditure, while also recording a longer average length of stay.

“I am excited to announce that since the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders, Japan is among the top four visitor source markets,” said Dato’ Haji Zainuddin Abdul Wahab, Director-General of Tourism Malaysia. He noted that visitors can experience a mix of natural wonders, ecotourism activities, sustainable and resilient island destinations, national parks, beaches and a range of other attractions. “There is a whole new Malaysia waiting to be discovered,” he added.

Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, recently announced a new target of 9.2 million tourist arrivals for Malaysia in 2022. The raft of recent worldwide promotions is intended to support this boost in arrivals during the remainder of the year and bring the minister’s plans to fruition.