Malaysia

Travel agents push trips to Malaysia


100 enterprises participated in the familiarization tour

Visitors to the Genting Skyworld theme park at Resorts World Genting, Genting Highlands, Malaysia.Dushida Voracadchai

The Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) hopes to stimulate more outbound travel from Malaysia through tourism flow exchanges to support the recovery trajectory after border reopening.

TTAA chairman Charoen Wangananont said that judging from the current influx of Malaysian tourists, Malaysia is a major market that can support two-way tourism with Thailand.

Most outbound travel to Malaysia is to border provinces with casinos or duty-free shopping, but shopping destinations such as Langkawi that once attracted Thai tourists have lost their appeal because prices are similar to those in Thailand, Charoen said.

He said there are more offerings in Malaysia, especially adventure tourism for the younger generation in Kota Kinabalu. This trend was growing until it was interrupted by Covid-19.

The association visited Malaysia this week with nearly 100 outbound travel companies, Thailand’s largest outbound tour group since the outbreak began more than two years ago.

“After seeing the potential itineraries of Genting Highlands and Melaka during this trip, the travel agency has shown strong interest in introducing new packages to Malaysia,” Mr Charoen said.

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Tourists use a drone to take pictures at Chin Swee Rock Temple in Genting Highlands, Malaysia.Dushida Voracadchai

Among the companies participating in this trip, less than 20 actively provided packages to well-known Malaysian destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, and Kota Kinabalu.

Mr Charoen said it was an opportunity for operators to experience the travel process, such as the health claims tourists need to submit.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukry said Malaysia’s tourist arrivals this year were initially set at 2 million, but the target has been adjusted to 4.5 million and may be updated again in September as the country may exceed Target.

The main source markets are Singapore, Thailand and India, as well as travelers from neighboring countries and the Middle East.

Brunei’s full reopening from 1 August will also help support tourist flows.

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Thai tourists love to take pictures at the Melaka Straits Mosque.Dushida Voracadchai

Most Thais are repeat customers, she said, and tourism products can include the historic state of Malacca, which is recognized as a World Heritage Site.

There are many more attractions to introduce, such as Genting Highlands Resort, entertainment centers and theme parks; Langkawi, which was promoted as a tourism pilot project, and Merdeka 118, the world’s second tallest building in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia aims to attract 2 million Thais this year, up from 1.88 million in 2019.



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