By Homayoun Zarghani
After a two-year hiatus, Tourism Malaysia unveiled new products for its travel market in Iran.
A delegation consisting of representatives of high profile tourism officials, as well as accommodation and Malaysian tourism activists, met with Iranian travel agencies at the Spinas Hotel in Tehran to unveil new travel products to Malaysia.
In the roadshow meeting, Iran’s travel agencies talked with their counterparts to open new chapters after a two-year hiatus in the tourism industry.
The Malaysian delegation led by Dato` Zainuddin Abdul Wahab, Director-General of Tourism Malaysia Ministry attended the event.
According to Mr. Abdul Wahab, tourism is expected to restart its gradual recovery in 2022 due to the resumption of tourism activities across Malaysia, rising vaccination, and the reopening of the country’s border. According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international arrivals are expected to return to 2019 levels only in 2024 or later. Thus, we expected that the recovery phase may last for at least 2 to 3 years and will provide sufficient time and resources to support the communities and tourism industry. In this regard, we hope that the reopening of Malaysia’s borders will further bolster and expedite the recovery of our tourism industry.
Besides that, in regaining global competitiveness, with a focus on efforts to increase revenue, secure smart international and national partnerships, empower local communities, and ensure the sustainability and resilience of the industry for future uncertainties.
During the pandemic, tourism infrastructure has been improved gradually. Among the infrastructure improvement were the theme parks, parks and gardens, health centers, and family entertainment centers were all covered by government support, to ensure the sustainability of the tourism industry with promotion plans and activities.
Malaysia’s short-term and long-term plans
Mr. Abdul Wahab indicated that on the note of short-term strategies, our quick wins are restored confidence to travel, reform of domestic tourism, intensifying short haul market, maximizing resources, high-quality tourism products and services, and lastly sustainability of culture and arts industry.
In terms of long-term strategies, Tourism Malaysia is preparing to attract two million tourists with a share of 8.6 billion Ringgit this year. Under the Strategic & Marketing Plan 2022-2026 five pillars the strategic plan include boosting domestic tourism, forging smart partnerships, enhancing tourism promotion (online/offline), optimizing strategic communication and media engagement as well as undertaking strategic transformation.
“Iran market is always one of the most motivating markets, especially for family travels. Tourism Malaysia has set promotional activities such as familiarization trips, joint promotions with tour operators and airlines, advertising as well as digital promotion. The promotion will be a focus on tourists from Tehran and Shiraz.” said Nizam Halimi Charge de` Affairs Malaysian Embassy Tehran.
“The Middle East has always been our priority and focus market ever since before the pandemic hits. This market has always been our top 5 in terms of tourist spending in Malaysia in terms of per capita expenditure besides recording a longer average length of stay compared to tourists from other markets. On top of that, the number of packages sold as well as a number of seat capacity occupied will also be assessed through our marketing activities.” said Mr. Manoharan Periasang Senior Director of International Promotion Division (Asia / Africa) Tourism Malaysia