Friday, January 13, 2017

Local tour operators urged to be more proactive

War zone: Musa (below) and Tan want tour operators to sell the country aggressively


KUALA LUMPUR: Lo­­cal tour operators should be more proactive during international trade shows and not wait for potential buyers.
“It is a war zone out there. The marketing team should not just sit and wait for potential buyers to approach them.
“They should be more proactive,” Tourism Malaysia International Promotion Division senior director Datuk Musa Yusof said.
He said this at a seminar on maximising investments on trade shows.
The event was organised by Malaysian As­­so­­ciation of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
He also expressed disappointment that some organisations sent irrelevant personnel to participate in briefings held prior to international trade fairs.
“Make sure those who are going to the fair attend briefings. Otherwise it is a waste of time,” he said.
He also noted that most of those attending the fair tend to remain put at the pavilion instead of moving around and attending related events to forge greater networking.
Musa called on tour companies to utilise the media centre to promote new products.
He also challenged tour operators to come up with special tour packages including those complementing scheduled major events such as F1 Grand Prix, the Rainforest Music Festi­val, Moto GP and Iron Man Langkawi.
He said Tourism Malaysia was also collaborating with Singapore Airlines, Turkish Air­lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to in­­crease traffic from Europe.
“The demand is there. We need to collaborate with other international airlines to address the shortage of flights to Malay­sia,” he said.
Malaysia Airlines is adding eight destinations to China in view of the potential de­mand.
Another speaker, Henry Lee, said tour operators should keep abreast with the latest trends to remain relevant in the field, and use social media to promote their business.
“If you are not on Facebook (and other social media), you are not relevant anymore,” he said.
He said they should also capitalise on international trade fairs, as they provided a platform to potentially ink the bulk of the deals.
MATTA vice-president Datuk K.L. Tan said the private sector should look into packaging events that complemented Tourism Malaysia’s marketing and promotion activities.
For 2017, they have lined up three affordable sales missions to China, four to India and another four to Asean countries, he said.
“Our aim is to educate members on how to capitalise on international trade shows amidst high participation cost and the weakening ringgit.
“We are also strengthening domestic networking. We have initiated industry visits to Perak, Johor, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
MATTA would continue to organise activities beneficial to members, and similar seminars were planned for Johor, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, he added.

-thestar online.

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