Tourism Malaysia begins its first post-pandemic sales mission, exploring the Thai tourist market
BANGKOK: Tourism Malaysia’s first sales mission to Thailand is expected to help reopen the Thai tourist market to Malaysia to support the recovery of the country’s tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sales mission was led by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and took place in two main locations, Bangkok and the southern province of Songkhla, starting Monday and ending on Friday.
Malaysian travel agencies that are also involved consist of airlines, travel agents, hoteliers and product owners based in Malaysia.
Nancy said the sales mission will offer information on tourist attraction locations and future developments as well as establish new relationships with tourism industry players in Thailand.
“We hope it (sales mission) will create a new partnership to attract more Thai people to choose Malaysia as their holiday destination… We are not only close as neighboring countries, but Malaysia is also one of the destinations worth visiting.
“This is the best opportunity for us not only to resume relations, but also to revitalize the tourism industry of both countries while hoping for a sustainable recovery, especially in the ASEAN region,” he said at a dinner in conjunction with the sales mission to Thailand here on Thursday night.
Also present were Director General of Tourism Malaysia Datuk Zainuddin Abdul Wahab and Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel.
Thailand is one of the important short-haul market destinations for Malaysia.
In 2019, Malaysia welcomed the arrival of 1,884,306 tourists from Thailand and almost 70 percent were repeat travelers.
Thai travelers travel to Malaysia for holidays, shopping and visiting friends and relatives.
Nancy said the states most visited by Thai people include the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Pahang.
Nancy said Malaysia aims to attract 800,000 Thai tourists this year.
“We want to see Thais surpass the number of tourist arrivals in Malaysia. Currently, Thailand ranks second, after Singapore.
“After two years of being hit by COVID-19, we are offering new products and services to meet travel demand especially among Thai people.
“For example, many Thais may never have been to the two Malaysian Borneo states, namely Sabah and Sarawak.
“Thus, we hope to attract more international tourists to explore Sabah and Sarawak,” she said.
Nancy said the tourism industry has become an important contributor to the economy in Malaysia.
In 2019, the tourism sector contributed 15.9 percent to the Malaysian economy and supported 3.6 million jobs, as well as forming 23.6 percent of the total workforce in the country.
source – BERNAMA