Fostering greater cooperation
In an endeavour to achieve 646,000 arrivals from the Indian market by 2020, Tourism Malaysia is promoting greater awareness among tour operators and members of the travel fraternity about new destinations and products that the country has to offer.
Malaysia is a value-for-money destination with many attractions to appeal to all segments of the Indian market, according to Muhammad
Bakhtiar Bin Wan Chik, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia. “In 2017, we received around 25.9 million tourist arrivals from all over the world and India is among the top 10 tourist generating numbers from 2018 suggest that there was a rise of 7.5 per cent in the number of tourist arrivals from India in comparison to 2017. Last year, we welcomed 594,098 Indian tourists. Consistent promotional efforts in the market and better air accessibility have contributed to this growth,” says Chik.
Along with ongoing efforts for better visa facilitation and various marketing and promotional activities lined up, Malaysia is looking forward to welcoming more Indian tourists. Commenting on the growth from India, Chik is forecasting the says, “Malaysia has good air connectivity from India. Now, we have IndiGo plying from India too along with Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo Air operating between India and Malaysia. Further, Malaysia Airlines has announced to reintroduce the Kochi route from Kuala Lampur with its 2019. With better connectivity, we are now expecting more Indians to visit Malaysia. I hope the numbers continue to grow as we welcome to partner with travel trade, associations, travel agents and individuals.”
Talking about the interests of Indian travellers in Malaysia, Chik informs that most travellers from India travel to Malaysia for shopping and visiting theme parks. “Malaysia has some amazing destinations including serene beaches, Sipadan Island and newly opened Desaru Coast. Indian visitors are also opting for Malaysia for weddings and honeymoons. We also have a slew of new exciting products coming up.”
Malaysia has also recently introduced a visa waiver programme for Indians travelling to Malaysia from January 1 to December 31, 2019. Instead of obtaining a visa, travellers will need to register via Electronic Travel Registration & Information (eNTRI), an online facility provided by Government of Malaysia. On this, Chik said that they are working together with the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry and Immigration department to make the visa process seamless for Indians.
Further, the Deputy Minister of Tourism reiterated MiCE as one of the focus areas in the country’s tourism plans.
Muhammad Bakhtiar Bin Wan Chik Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Malaysia