IT HAS been some years since Tourism Malaysia has had an active presence in the Australian market – but that is about to change.
At a roadshow event in Sydney last night, tourism officials unveiled plans to encourage more Aussies to travel to Malaysia. The campaign is part of plans for Visit Malaysia 2020, which is expected to see 30 million international tourists visit the country.
Speaking to Traveltalk at last night’s event, Datuk Musa Yusof, the Director General of Tourism Malaysia, said Australia was an important market for his country.
“We established one of our first international offices here in the 70s so we have a great bond with Australia,” he said. “We are familiar with Australians and you are familiar with us.”
Inbound numbers from Australia have dropped in recent years, partly due to the twin tragedies involving Malaysian Airlines. The country has slipped from 10th to 13th in the list of international inbound visitors, down to just over 350,000. Mr Yusof said he hoped to see that number climb back up to almost 400,000 by 2020.
“We are facing stiff competition from our neighbours so we can’t just keep quiet and we need to maintain our share of the market,” he added.
“We need to get into the consumer market and say there are new products in Malaysia. More noise is needed.”
The travel roadshow was a pre-cursor to a marketing campaign scheduled to launch in Australia around September. Some 25 travel organisations and operators from Malaysia travelled here to present their products, new activities and developments. The roadshow started in Perth before travelling to Sydney, Melbourne and on to New Zealand.
“Our marketing efforts are aimed at increasing the support to our tourism counterparts here, to gain their confidence and trust in Malaysia, to reinforce the idea that Malaysia is indeed the destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list,” added Mr Yusof.
"To achieve our aspirations, we need and want to work closely with industry players, the airlines, the tour operators and the media to position Malaysia as the ideal holiday destination."
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