LONDON – Malaysia took part in London's World Travel Market (WTM) 2017 from 6 to 8 November with a 130-strong delegation led by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz. It marked the country's 34th year of participation in the premier travel and tourism trade exhibition since 1983, a gesture of Malaysia's dedication to strengthening the UK and Europe markets.
YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri addressed the UK and Europe media saying, "This year's WTM participation is particularly special as we are making early preparations for the Visit Malaysia Year 2020. The WTM platform provides us the opportunity to leverage on this campaign to gain the confidence and partnership from industry players here."
He spoke of the marketing campaigns to brand Malaysia in the region and assured of Malaysia's intention to enhance accessibility from the UK and Europe markets through collaborations with airline carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
He went on to update the media of Malaysia's tourism industry developments which included the completion of the Mass Rapid Transit system, which would essentially open up more urban and sub-urban destinations as potential tourist attractions; as well as new tourist attractions in Penang, Melaka and Langkawi.
The Minister said, "All these developments are timely in the run-up to our Visit Malaysia Year campaign in 2020 – a significant year in which Malaysia hopes to attract 36 million tourists worldwide. These developments also signify our genuine interest to grow and promote Malaysia as a top tourist destination and give assurance to industry players here of our commitment to tourism growth."
"We hope that an early start for the preparation of the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 will enable us to forge quality partnerships with the industry players here," he added.
This year, Malaysia's participation in WTM totaled 130 delegates from 41 organisations. They comprised of representatives from both public and private sectors, namely 16 tour operators, 10 hotels and resorts, 3 associations/product owners/airlines and 12 state tourism agencies, including Tourism Malaysia itself as the destination promotion body of the Ministry.
The Malaysia Truly Asia brand remains the global branding of the country, perfectly encapsulating Malaysia's cultural diversity; delicious cuisine; natural assets such as the rainforests, highlands, islands, beaches, rivers and lakes; modern cities; and rich and fulfilling experiences that appeal to this market.
With the favourable currency exchange rate, Malaysia offers more value for money with amazing hotels, delicious food, and other holiday lifestyle experiences that are reasonably-priced.
Last year, Malaysia recorded a total of 26.8 million tourist arrivals and RM82.1 billion tourist receipts. Of this, 400,269 tourists were from the UK market.
According to top tour operator Kuoni in its Worldwide Trends Report 2017, Malaysia rose to 10th place (from 14th place in 2016) in the list of most-preferred long-haul holiday destination for UK travelers.