PUTRAJAYA, 28 January 2016 - Malaysia showed strong support for the 35th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manila, the Philippines, which was held from 18 to 25 January. Led by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, YB Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, the Malaysian delegation, comprising 42 sellers from hotels and resorts, tour agencies and state tourism boards wooed international buyers at the ATF TRAVEX, which took place at the SMX Convention Centre, from 20 to 22 January 2016. The Malaysian delegation to the ATF 2016 includes Secretary General of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr. Ong Hong Peng and Deputy Director General (Advertising and Digital), Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Abdul Khani Daud.
ASEAN TOURISM FORUM TRAVEL EXCHANGE (ATF TRAVEX)
The ATF TRAVEX 2016 was an effective platform for members of the Malaysian delegation to raise awareness among international delegates and media on the many new and exciting tourism products, services and events in the country.
Malaysia made more than 1,500 appointments with international buyers, representing 61 countries at the ASEAN Tourism Forum Travel Exchange (ATF TRAVEX) 2016 in Manila, Philippines.
Deputy Director General (Advertising and Digital), Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Abdul Khani Daud said buyers were interested in updates of new tourism products, services and events in Malaysia, to expand their tour packages of Malaysia.
The international media also came to the Malaysia Pavillion to obtain information on new products and events in Malaysia to promote them in their home countries.
The TRAVEX, an important component of ATF, is the longest-running annual ASEAN leisure travel trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN sellers. The key component of the 3-day event was the travel trade-only exhibition and business meetings. It serves as a dedicated platform for travel and tourism suppliers in ASEAN to explore business opportunities with international buyers and vice versa.
This year’s ATF was attended by 457 buyers and 1,000 exhibitors with 467 booths, representing companies & properties from 10 ASEAN countries, as well as 183 international media.
ASEAN FOR ASEAN – INTRA-REGIONAL TOURISM COOPERATION
On 22 January, the ASEAN National Tourism Organisations of ASEAN revealed the ‘ASEAN for ASEAN’ campaign to promote travel within the ASEAN region.
Nine different tourism themes were highlighted under this campaign with each NTO tasked to drive internal regional tourism in 2016, as well as to generate awareness of the ASEAN tourism brand.
Malaysia is responsible for promoting ASEAN adventure products within ASEAN and international markets in a single booklet, called ASEAN Adventure Travel. The booklet is targeted at youth, and is available on www.aseantourism.travel, as well as www.malaysia.travel.
TOURISM MALAYSIA NETWORKING LUNCHEON
Tourism Malaysia hosted a business luncheon for buyers and media on 21 January at the SMX Convention Centre.
A total of 500 guests received a warm welcome by the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia. During the luncheon, she highlighted Malaysia’s new tourism products and services, as well as significant events in 2016.
The guests were also entertained by El Gamma Penumbra, the champion of the first Asia’s Got Talent, the Malaysian-born singer Annabelle Vo Pei Pei, and the Filipino soprano singer Jade Rubisco.
NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANISATION (NTO) MEDIA BRIEFING
Dato’ Abdul Khani Daud delivered a presentationto the media at the NTO Media Briefing on 21 January at the Meeting Room of the SMX Convention Centre. The 45-minute briefing was attended by some 50 international media members.
He highlighted Malaysia’s role in ASEAN Tourism, Tourism Malaysia’s strategic direction in 2016 and new tourism products such as the Malaysia Super Sale, the Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village, the Shore Gallery, and the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS), to name a few.
OTHER EFFORTS TO PROMOTE MALAYSIA AT ATF 2016:
The Deputy Tourism Minister also paid a courtesy call on Secretary-General of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) H.E. Madam Yang Xiuping, to explore the possibility of forging closer tourism cooperation between ASEAN and China, and specifically Malaysia through the ACC platform.
On 22 January, Datuk Mas Ermiyati together with Tourism Ministers from other ASEAN countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the representatives from China, Japan, and Republic of Korea during the launched of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan, 2016-2025 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.
They also launched the ‘Cruise Southeast Asia, feel the warmth” branding. This new branding, inspired by the waves, highlights the vibrant diversity, the culture and warmth of the people of Southeast Asia, as well as the close relationships between ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN HOMESTAY AWARD
A total of five Malaysia’s homestays comprising Homestay Banghuris; Homestay Kampung Lonek; Homestay Kampung Taman Sedia; Homestay Kampung Santubong; and Homestay Miso Walai received the ASEAN Homestay Award at the first ASEAN Homestay Award Ceremony in Sofitel Philippines Plaza Manila.
ASEAN GREEN HOTEL AWARD
Ten hotels from Malaysia comprising Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu; Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa; Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa; The Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur; The Zenith Hotel, Kuantan; Borneo Tropical Rainforest Resort, Sarawak; The Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang; Miri Marriot Resort & Spa; Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur; and Holiday Inn Resort Penang won the ASEAN Green Hotel Award at the first ASEAN Green Hotel Award Ceremony in Sofitel Philippines Plaza Manila.
In brief, Malaysia’s participation in the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016 in Manila, Philippines, had been fruitful as opened up various opportunities with international travel agents.
The ATF 2017 will convene on 16-20 January 2017 in Singapore, with the theme of “Shaping our Tourism Journey Together”.
Thailand has been confirmed as the host of ATF 2018.