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Tourism Malaysia Focuses on West Asian Markets
03 June 2024 | Written by Chris Alexander

On the global tourism stage, a spotlight continues to shine on Malaysia. This is partly due to word of mouth – the quality of Malaysian destinations speak for themselves – but also due to proactive efforts by tourism officials to generate interest and gain access to new source markets. Last month, these efforts focused on the West Asian market.  

On 21 May, Tourism Malaysia wrapped up a successful sales mission to Oman and Qatar, where a delegation of 12 travel agencies, eight hotel groups and various state government representatives played a starring role in the promotion of Malaysia’s tourism performance to West Asian tourism stakeholders. 

Travellers from West Asian demographics have long-standing ties to Malaysia, with further potential to be explored. This segment is a permanent feature in the top five international spending groups for inbound travel in Malaysia, with per capita spending and average duration of stay longer than other groups. In 2023, Malaysia welcomed 18,078 and 2,464 tourists from Oman and Qatar, respectively. 

“While these numbers reflect a positive trajectory, the mission aimed to re-capture pre-pandemic arrivals of 23,911 and 4,089 logged in 2019,” said a representative of  Tourism Malaysia, speaking at the event in Oman. “This target was further supported by the availability of convenient direct flights to Kuala Lumpur offered by Qatar Airways, Oman Air and Salam Air,” they added. 

In addition to promoting new flight scheduling, Tourism Malaysia took this latest opportunity to showcase Malaysia’s tourism products via a combination of business-to-business (B2B) sessions and networking dinners in Muscat and Doha. Detailed briefings and presentations were also held, in order to deepen participants’ understanding of Malaysia’s vibrant tourism industry.  

These events, and the wider mission of the Malaysia delegation, facilitated many productive new partnerships, while also providing a platform for knowledge exchange between Malaysian and local travel trade partners. 

Mr. Manoharan Periasamy, Director General of Tourism Malaysia and leader of the delegation summed up the importance of their mission: “as we witness a resurgence of West Asian tourists to Malaysia, this sales mission presents a strategic opportunity to amplify our promotional efforts in Oman and Qatar,” stated the Director General.