BY UWE FISCHER
Malaysia registered interest to be official country partner for Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB) 2019, the world’s premier travel fair in Germany.
Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has confirmed Malaysia’s interest in being the country partner for ITB 2019 in a meeting with Mr. Richard Barnes of Messe Berlin, the organizer of ITB. As a partner, Malaysia would benefit from the extensive publicity and promotional mileage of this esteemed organisation. Beginning October 2017, Malaysia will be featured extensively in all of its communication channels to its international linkages. “We are very encouraged by the positive response by the travel industry of Germany and the airlines and it bodes well for the future of our industry as we approach the targets set by Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP) 2020” said the Minister. By then, the country is working hard to achieve its target of 36 million tourist arrivals.
Taking a look at the positive development during the last years, the target should be achievable. In 2016, the number of arrivals rose to 31.8 million, up from 25.7 million in 2017. While most tourists come from Asian countries, especially China and Singapore, total arrivals from Europe were comparatively modest at 1,111,899. A major source of tourists to Malaysia from Europe was Germany with 130,276 tourists in 2016. Minister Nazri is laying special attention on the German market which can be seen by the fact that he attended ITB for the third time after 2014 and 2016. However, one major obstacle is the lack of direct flight from Germany to Malaysia. As an alternative, the Minister recommended Singapore Airlines which offers non stop flights from Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. Nazri also mentioned the Malaysian carrier AirAsia which might offer direct flights to Malaysia in the near future. At the present moment, however, this is not yet confirmed.
Both AirAsia and Singapore Airlines are among the exhibitors at the Malaysian Pavillon in hall 26A. Other exhibitors include hotels and resorts, tour operators and agencies (for a complete list click here).
The ITB 2017 lasts until Sunday daily from 10am to 6 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be open to the public as well.