Celebrating Malaysia…The Show Must Go On!

“India has always been an important market for us. In 2013, a total of 650,989 Indian travellers visited Malaysia, maintaining its position as the sixth top tourist generating market to the country. And this year we are expecting close 7, 80000 to 8 lakh tourists from here, said Tourism Malaysia’s Director General Yg Bhg Dato Mirza Mohammed Taiyab addressing the media on March 18 in Mumbai.  

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Malaysia is celebrating its fourth Visit Malaysia Year (VMY 2014) with the themes “Celebrating Malaysia Truly Asia” to reflect the diversity in unity of all Malaysians. With the Proboscis Monkey as the mascot for VMY 2014, this will be the biggest and the grandest tourism celebration with hundreds of events and festivals all lined up to welcome the world. As part of its efforts to raise awareness on the celebration of Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 globally, Tourism Malaysia embarked on a Sales Mission from 12 March until 20th March in India. In the series Tourism Malaysia hosted road show in Mumbai at Trident on March 18 amidst much fan fare.  

 Yg Bhg Dato Mirza Mohammed Taiyab led the delegation to Mumbai.  He was accompanied by Dato Azizan Noordin, Dy. Director General, Mr Manoharan, Director, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board and other officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.  While the primary objective of the sales mission is to strengthen Malaysia’s standing as a dream travel destination and increase tourist arrivals from India, Yg Bhg Dato Mirza Mohammed Taiyab is also looking forward to driving strong support from both the Indian media, travel trade and airlines fraternity for the ongoing Visit Malaysia year 2014.

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Sharing the concern about the missing Malaysian Airlines plane (still untraceable) Dato Mirza said, “Let me on behalf of my delegation express concern on the still untraceable Malaysian Airlines plane, we pray for the safety of all the passengers on board.”

He added, “Besides famous attractions in Kuala Lumpur, we have a plethora of offerings planned to welcome our Indian guests. From being the world’s favourite shopping destination and to having the world’s best beaches, from the most relaxing spa vacations to golfing holidays, from weddings and honeymoon locales and helicopter tours: tourists can be assured of perfect custom made holiday.” 

Speaking to travelknots, Dato Mirza said, “Kids can also have a fabulous time in Malaysia with theme parks in almost every part of the country. Some of the latest include Asia’s first Lego land theme park, the puteriharbour Family Theme Park and KidZania. You can have fun at the first Legoland Water Park in Asia, which is also largest in the world.”

Discussing the trend of Women travelling solo to foreign locales from India, and their safety being a concern, Dato Mirza said women have big role to play in Malaysia, both in Administration and Government. Malaysia pays lot of attention to the security of women and it is considered most safe for women. Moreover, English is our second is language and Malaysian women are very friendly with English Language, which is a big plus.”

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Bollywood Celebrity Isha Gupta graced the occasion. 

Elaborating on Visit Malaysia Year 2014, Dato Mirza said, “ We are here to tell our Indian fellows, media friends that we have nearly 200 events lined up, right from cultural, sports event, religious events, special interest events to music concerts. Shahrukh Khan was in Malaysia recently and it created so much buzz as there is lot of interest in artists from here.  There are more offerings in terms of flights, which offer better connectivity to Malaysia.  We are taking Visit Malaysia to all parts of the world.  Let me tell you that Kuala Lumpur has been rated as 4th Best Shopping City in the World by CNN Survey in 2012 and 2nd Best Shopping Destination in Asia pacific by Globe Shopper Index 2012.

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This year if there is a place to be, it’s Malaysia. More than 200 events await tourists in Malaysia

For instance, thousands of international auto racing fans will flock of Malaysia end of this month for the 15th F1 Petronas Malaysia grand Prix. Other events that will interest sports fans include the Malaysian Motorcycle Prix, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, and CIMB Golfing Challenge.

For those who like culture, there is Colours of Malaysia and Borneo Cultural Festival. Foodies should come for the three month Fabulous Food Malaysia. For Music Lovers Malaysia has the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak. Sunset Music Festival in Sabah, and Penang World Music Festival, just to name a few.

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The annual Malaysia Mega Sale is also a much anticipated event. Shopping is a must in Kuala Lumpur. After all, it was ranked by CNN as the fourth Best Shopping City in the world. And the delight of thousands of designer shoes at the Malaysia International Shoe festival.

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During the sales missions in Mumbai, Tourism Malaysia also organised a travel mart for the travel trade players to meet and network. This is a platform to showcase Malaysia’s diverse tourism offerings and highlight the scope for collaboration between travel agents in Malaysia and India.

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Malaysia’s tourism sector continued to be a significant contributor to the country’s economy in 2103. Tourist receipts were RM 65.44 billion, an 8.1% increase from the RM 60.56 billion in 2012. Tourist arrivals grew by 2.7% to 25.7 million in 2012. VMY 2014 is expected to see around 28 million tourists visiting the country and generating receipts up to RM 76 billion.

–         Bienu Verma Vaghela, Editor, Travelknots

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