The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (MATTA) has embarked on targeted sales missions to India in a bid to reverse declining arrivals from the market.
Following its earlier sales mission to Bengaluru and Chennai in August, MATTA inbound vice president, Tan Kok Liang, will lead a delegation of 10 agents in the upcoming mission to Kochi and Colombo from November 30 to December 3.
The association is planning more roadshows in 2017, starting with Nepal and Delhi in February, then Calcutta and Mumbai in June, Chennai and Bengaluru in August, before ending in Cochin and Colombo in December, according to exco member for India, Ganneesh Ramaa.
Ganneesh commented: “India has always been among the top 10 (feeder) markets for Malaysia. However, with growing competition from other countries, we have to work hard and cannot merely rely on Tourism Malaysia (to) reverse the negative trend.
Shanti Devi, operation manager at Asian World Holidays, said the earlier sales mission in August had proven useful for acquiring sales leads from new agents and offered more focused opportunities to seek out Indian agents with an interest in selling the destination.
Gopalan Mariappan, director and owner at Sanbury Travel, who will be participating in the upcoming mission to Cochin and Colombo, also sees value in face-to-face meetings with agents. "It is also an opportunity for us to update agents on new attractions and packages, which will help them promote the destination better to their clients," he elaborated.
According to statistics from Tourism Malaysia, arrivals from India dropped 6.2 per cent to 722,141 in 2015. The decline continued into 1H2016 with a five per cent fall in visitors from the corresponding period in 2015.