Friday, November 11, 2016

World Travel Market Ends On High Note For Malaysia


LONDON, 9 November 2016: The World Travel Market 2016 (WTM) concluded today at the ExCel exhibition centre in London, and the Malaysian delegation reported a successful three-day business-to-business meeting at this prestigious tourism trade show.
Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad, Kedah Aman Makmur Tourism Chief Executive Officer, said, “WTM was the right platform for Kedah to promote its latest archaeological tourism product of Sungai Batu, the oldest civilization in Southeast Asia, and package it with Sungai Merbok and Gunung Jerai as a sustainable tourism experience.”
Rozimah Wahid, Principal Assistant Director at Putrajaya Corporation said, “WTM was a great platform for networking and to promote Putrajaya. The tour operators we met were interested to sell Putrajaya to their clients here. We are planning to bring the tour operators to visit Putrajaya and show them not just the architectural attractions but also update them of the wonderful parks that we have.”
The Kedah team also met with tour operators in Cambodia and Indonesia to initiate what they called the Southeast Asia Archaeo-Tourism Package that will offer tourists the experience of visiting four ancient heritage sites in three countries namely Sungai Batu in Kedah, Lenggong in Perak, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur in Indonesia. They hope to launch this package in December in time for the Visit ASEAN@50 campaign next year which marks the golden anniversary of ASEAN’s founding.
One of the big trends at WTM was Islamic Tourism and Malaysia’s Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) took part in a forum entitled “Halal Tourism Market” to promote Malaysia as a halal destination. ITC’s Director of Industry Development, Yuhaini Yusoff, said, “The response from WTM buyers was good. Tour operators in the UK are interested to develop tour packages to Malaysia for their Muslim clientele. We are here to facilitate the process and give the advice they need.” ITC also used the WTM platform to promote its International Muslim Friendly Conference next year.
Abdul Raheem Mohamad, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer from Destination Perak, the agency tasked with the development and promotion of tourism in Perak, said, “WTM has given exposure to Perak as a destination to visit in 2017. We received interest not only from the Europe market but also found potential tourist source markets for Perak such as Algeria and several other countries in North Africa who expressed interest in coming to Malaysia due to Malaysia being a moderate Muslim country.”
Perak is heavily promoting its “Visit Perak Year 2017” with a long list of tourism events, including the much-anticipated Ipoh Cycle Fest, tagged as “Asia’s Biggest Bicycle Festival,” from 23-30 April next year.
International media interviewed both the Minister of Tourism and Culture YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Tan Sri Abdul Aziz and the Director General of Tourism Malaysia YBhg Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab on a variety of topics including ecotourism, the Malaysia Homestay programme, new developments in the hospitality sector and luxury tourism, among others.
Accessibility to Malaysia was also a topic of interest and YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri assured the market that Malaysia intended to “maintain our presence in the UK and European countries through collaborations with carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and other European carriers, apart from our national carrier Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.”
The Minister also conveyed to the international tourism trade and media of next year’s destination campaigns organised by Perak, Pahang and Terengganu. The three state governments were keen to showcase their diverse touristic attractions encompassing nature, culture, cuisine, heritage, islands and beaches and more.
WTM 2016 marks the 33rd year of Tourism Malaysia’s participation in the prestigious event since 1983, which reflects the country’s commitment in attracting more travellers from London and Europe to its shores. The event, deemed as the most important travel fair in the European market, is the main platform for Malaysia to promote its tourism offerings and introduce new and upcoming tourist attractions to British and European travellers.
Between January and August this year, Malaysia received a total of 278,342 tourist arrivals from the UK, which is an increase of 2.3% compared to the same period last year. 

-Tourism Malaysia.

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