Zainuddin hitting the gong to launch the MTEX as Travel Agents Federation of India acting president Pradip Lulla (left), Federation of Asean Travel Associations president Mingkwan Metmowlee (second from left) and Tan look on.
PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) is promoting Malaysian tourism products to other countries in Asia by means of a ‘travel mart’.
The MATTA Travel Exchange Mart (MTEX), organised in partnership with Tourism Malaysia, is an event aimed at connecting Malaysian tourism players with tour operators from countries such as India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the Business-to-Business programme would connect 82 Malaysian companies consisting of tour operators, hoteliers, transport operators with over 150 buyers from India and Asean countries.
It will be held from April 27 to 28 at the Everly Hotel here.
He said the first MTEX was organised 12 years ago in Melaka, but it was recently revived given its potential to boost tourist arrivals from Asean countries and India.
“Based on this (edition’s) number of participants and initial feedback, it’s going to be successful and we hope to have it annually and get it to grow bigger,” he said in a press conference at the event’s opening ceremony on Saturday (April 27).
Tan added that MTEX would be in line with the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, which aims to attract 30 million tourists and RM100bil in tourist receipts.
Also present was Tourism Malaysia strategic planning senior director Datuk Zainuddin Abdul Wahab who noted that despite a decline in tourist arrivals from Asean countries in 2018, they still contribute about 70% of overall tourist arrivals.
The number of Asean visitors dropped to 18.1mil tourist arrivals in 2018 compared to the 19.4mil tourist arrivals in 2017.
The number of Indian tourists on the other hand has increased by 8.6% to 600,311 in 2018.
The government, he said, intends to increase the number of Indian tourist arrivals to 683,000 this year.
Meanwhile, Tan announced a joint venture with Grabini Malaysia Sdn Bhd to create an online platform for MATTA members to buy and sell their travel products.