From 7-9 March 2023, ITB Berlin was held at the Berlin ExpoCentre City in Germany, welcoming tourism representative from 125 countries from around the world. For Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) and Tourism Malaysia, this was their 50th appearance at ITB Berlin, and an opportunity to share some exiting new developments on the world stage.
The Malaysia delegation featured seven state tourism boards, 15 tour operators, 15 hotels and resorts, and three other tourism-related service providers. In total, 68 participants, representing 40 organisations, set up camp in the Tourism Malaysia Pavilion. Here they showcased Malaysia’s unique attractions to the European market, with special focus on ecotourism destinations and community-based tourism.
The group was led by the Datuk Mohd Zamri Mat Zain, Deputy Secretary General (Tourism) of MOTAC, who was accompanied by Dato’ Zainuddin Abd Wahab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, and Dato’ Dr. Ammar Abd Ghapar, Senior Director of Tourism Malaysia’s International Promotion Division (Americas/Europe/Oceania).
“ITB continues to be one of the best platforms for Malaysian tourism players to meet up with German and European outbound agents and airlines, where we get to share the latest information on Malaysia’s tourism products and new tourist attractions in our effort to further revive the tourism industry,” said Datuk Mohd Zamri Mat Zain.
Tourism Malaysia used ITB as a vehicle to launch their latest campaign, entitled ‘Soul of Malaysia’, which combines new products from three state tourism boards. Highlights included Gombak Hulu Langat Geopark by Tourism Selangor and Langkawi Green Geopark Package by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), along with Sabah Tourism Board‘s new destination branding, ‘Feel Sabah’; and Melaka Tourism’s ‘Visit Melaka Year 2024’ campaign.
To accompany the launch, Tourism Malaysia prepared three local-language (German) brochures: the Malaysia Travel Guide, Nature & Adventure, and Island & Beaches. The latter features highlights such as Langkawi, Penang, Pangkor and Terengganu, along with Chendor Beach near the coastal town of Cherating. The Nature & Adventure brochure explores mountains, rivers and caves nationwide, providing new ways to access and enjoy Malaysia’s many outdoor attractions. The presentation of the brochures was accompanied by a five-minute film that added an extra visual element to the showcase.
In 2022, Malaysia recorded a total of 10.07 million tourist arrivals and RM28.2 billion (Euro 6.1 billion) in tourist receipts after reopening its borders. This outstripped the original target of 9.2 million international tourist arrivals. This. year, Malaysia is aiming for 16.1 million foreign visitors, and around RM49.2 billion (Euro 10.5 billion) in tourist revenue.
With new destinations on offer, new promotional materials in circulation and new source markets to explore, 2023 promises to be a bumper year for Malaysian inbound tourism.