By The Malketeer
In its 42nd year of participation since 1981, Tourism Malaysia has once again made a resounding statement at the World Travel Market 2023, held from 6 to 8 November at ExCeL London. The delegation, led by Dato’ Roslan Tan Sri Abdul Rahman, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Malaysia, comprised 92 participants from 50 organisations, spanning state tourism boards, tour operators, hotels & resorts, associations, and airlines.
Supporting Sustainable Tourism Initiatives and Indigenous Communities
A key highlight of this year’s showcase was the collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) in launching the Sustainable Malaysia Initiative. Featuring the renowned British wildlife artist, Rachel Gray, the initiative spotlights a portrait of a Malaysian tiger, auctioning the proceeds to benefit the Royal Belum State Park, supporting sustainable tourism initiatives and indigenous communities.
Adding to the allure, Syabira Yusoff, the first Malaysian to win The Great British Bake Off, made a special appearance, demonstrating a traditional Malaysian dish at the event.
The Sustainable Malaysia Initiative underscores Malaysia’s commitment to ecotourism and sustainable practices. Joining forces with seven state tourism boards from Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, and Terengganu, Tourism Malaysia showcased both existing and new tourism products that spotlight the country’s rich biodiversity and local communities.
In a media statement released by Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Roslan expressed pride in promoting flagship tourism products that resonated with international and UK travellers, ranging from idyllic islands and beaches to family-friendly holidays and eco-adventure tours. He emphasised that Malaysia has much more to offer than ever before, unveiling new hotels and attractions that will elevate Malaysia’s destination appeal.
Malaysia Recorded 14.4 million International Tourist Arrivals: Jan-Sept. 2023
In an invitation to European travellers, Dato’ Roslan encouraged visitors to embark on a culinary journey through Malaysia. Beyond the scenic sights, he urged them to stay for the flavours and leave with a heart full of memories and a palate forever enchanted. Malaysia, he affirmed, welcomes everyone with open arms and a feast for the senses.
For Malaysia’s tourism industry, the United Kingdom remains a pivotal market. From January to September 2023, Malaysia recorded 14.4 million international tourist arrivals, with the UK market contributing significantly with 197,794 arrivals – a remarkable growth of 150.3% compared to the same period in 2022.
VMY 2026 Targets 26.1 Million Tourist Arrivals
Looking ahead, Malaysia aims to receive 16.1 million international tourist arrivals in 2023, projecting tourism receipts of MYR49.2 billion. The next milestone, the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) in 2026, has been set with ambitious targets of 26.1 million foreign tourist arrivals, including the UK market, and a domestic spending projection of RM97.6 billion.
As Malaysia continues to evolve as a sustainable tourism hub, its presence at the World Travel Market 2023 signals a commitment to responsible tourism practices and an invitation for the world to explore the country’s diverse offerings.
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