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Tourism Malaysia’s data-driven revival strategy showcased at World Travel Market 2023

Tourism Malaysia at WTM 2023

Tourism Malaysia highlights its data-centric approach to pandemic recovery and market trends at World Travel Market 2023, focusing on evolving traveler preferences.

London, UK – Tourism Malaysia showcased its achievements in leveraging data to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and redefine the tourism landscape at the ForwardKeys event during the World Travel Market 2023.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof, Senior Director of AERO at Tourism Malaysia, emphasised the pivotal role of data in charting the course for Malaysia’s tourism revival. “Data has been our guiding light during these challenging times,” he said. “It has been instrumental in not only assessing the readiness for the reopening of tourism but also in shaping our marketing strategies in response to evolving traveller preferences.”

Key Messages

Pandemic Recovery through Data: Mr. Yusof highlighted how data-driven insights were crucial in determining the readiness to reopen tourism activities after the Movement Control Order (MCO). Surveys involving the domestic population provided valuable information that shaped guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The surveys revealed a high demand for domestic travel, leading to the staged reopening of tourism activities. For international markets, surveys with overseas tourism stakeholders informed the establishment of travel bubbles and the eventual reopening of international borders on April 1, 2022.

Data-Driven Marketing: The data collected during the pandemic became the cornerstone of Tourism Malaysia’s marketing efforts. It played a pivotal role in developing new marketing narratives for both domestic and international markets. This data was also instrumental in redefining services and product offerings within the tourism sector.

Identifying New Markets: Mr. Yusof underscored the importance of data partnerships with various government agencies and organisations, such as the Department of Statistics, Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM), Immigration, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economics (KE), academic institutions, and international bodies. This collaboration allowed Tourism Malaysia to gather comprehensive data and studies relevant to the tourism industry, including air connectivity data provided by ForwardKeys.

Emerging Travel Trends: Tourism Malaysia actively monitors travel trends, which have shifted considerably post-pandemic. Smaller group travel, self-planned trips, and a desire for authentic local experiences have gained prominence. Travellers are exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and immersing themselves in local cultures and traditions.

Mr. Yusof added, “We foresee that these emerging travel trends will remain in the market for years to come. Tourism Malaysia is committed to focusing on and marketing these experiences to both domestic and international travellers.”

Tourism Malaysia’s participation at the ForwardKeys event exemplifies Malaysia’s resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity. The agency continues to be at the forefront of the global tourism industry, offering unique and authentic experiences to travellers.

George Diamantopoulos
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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.