Tourism Malaysia is promoting sustainable tourism and niche travel products in India and aims to attract one million Indian visitors this year.
A Malaysian delegation, led by Minister of Tourism and Culture Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz participated in the 24th edition of the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE 2017) in New Delhi.
Tourism Malaysia, state representatives and members of the Malaysian travel trade fraternity had a total of 32 participants with 16 organizations comprising state tourism promotion boards, travel agencies, hotel and airlines at the February 15-17 travel fair.
Mohamed Nazri said, "Sustainable tourism development is no longer just a mere cliche, but has become a major contributor to a more environmentally sustainable economy. With the right investment, tourism can be a lead change agent in the move to a green economy by driving economic growth and job creation. At the same time, it simultaneously improves resource efficiency, minimises environmental degradation as well as raises environmental awareness among travellers."
UNWTO has designated 2017 as the "International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development" and Malaysia is keen to promote its four UNESCO heritage sites, namely, Kinabalu National Park in Sabah, Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Melaka and George Town cities and the archaeological heritage site of the Lenggong Valley.
With niche tourism on the rise, Malaysia is also pushing its special interest packages for premium shopping, luxury travels, sports tourism such as golf, and Malaysia as a wedding and honeymoon destination.
As a step towards garnering support from the travel trade fraternity, Tourism Malaysia and leaders from Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) signed a commitment plaque fortifying each other’s commitment to promoting travel from India.
India is the sixth top tourist generating market for Malaysia with a total 722,141 Indian visitors recorded in 2015. Last year, from January to October, Malaysia received a total of 540,530 Indian tourists. Malaysia hopes to achieve 1 million arrivals from the India market this year.
Malaysia hopes to attract one million visitors from India this year with a number of promotion initiatives.
It has launched a new visa scheme that allows Indian passport holders to get an e-visa for a 15-day stay within 48 hours.
The minister said the Malaysian government has agreed to waive visa fees for Indian visitors and they have to pay only $20 as a processing fee for the e-visa.