Sunrise over Kuala Tahan jetty, a gateway to Taman Negara
With Middle Eastern arrivals to Malaysia expected to grow on the back of improved air connectivity, inbound agents TTG Asia spoke with the start of the Middle East travel peak are promoting more nature based and adventure products to cater for the rising millennial segments.
Adam Kamal, general manager, Tour East Malaysia, said: “We are promoting tours with more physical activities for FIT millennial segments such as jet skiing in Langkawi and ATV tours in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.
“The millennial market is a growing segment and they tend to be more adventure based. The family segment which still makes up a majority enjoy traditional activities such as shopping, sightseeing and theme parks.”
At Luxury Tours Malaysia, director, Arokia Das has been seeing growing interest for green destinations such as Taman Negara National Park and Cameron Highlands. “Millennials and repeat visitors are looking for new experiences, which can be found in these off-the-beaten-path destinations.”
Middle Easterners also have a taste for island holidays, according to Saini Vermeulen, executive director, Within Earth Holidays. “As the Maldives is popular with the Middle East market, we are also trying to push the islands and resorts off Terengganu, particularly The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort for young families and honeymooners,” he shared.
Still, he acknowledged that “it will take time to push new destinations including Desaru Coast”. The company is planning to organise fam trips for its partners from the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar after September.
Overall, the Malaysian inbound trade is optimistic that arrivals from the Middle East market will strengthen further on the back of improved air connectivity.
Air Arabia will commence daily direct flights between Sharjah and Kuala Lumpur on July 1, while Qatar Airways will extend existing Doha-Penang services to Langkawi to four times weekly from October 15. Currently there are 525 flights weekly from the Middle East to Malaysia.
In Malaysia, the top five highest spending visitor markets are all from the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Iran and Kuwait.