The demonetisation crisis might have put a dent on Indian outbound travel to Malaysia in 2016, but Malaysian agents are finally seeing signs of recovery from the market following a booking uptick for the Indian summer holidays starting end-April.
Arokia Das, senior manager at Luxury Tours Malaysia, said: “Forward bookings for the summer holidays look very good. We hope to see a double-digit growth compared with last year. Indians who postponed their travels late last year due to the demonetisation crisis are now booking (for summer).”
More demand for Langkawi (pictured)
Another inbound tour operator, S Jayakumar, operations manager at Dayangti Transport & Tours, agreed: “In 1Q2017, we saw a five per cent drop in arrivals compared with the preceding year as travellers postponed their travels due to the demonetisation crisis.”
He added: “I am optimistic about arrivals in May. We started promoting Johor as a new destination for the Indian market because of Legoland Malaysia and that is selling well with family travellers.”
Nanda Kumar, managing director, Hidden Asia Travel & Tours, is expecting the bulk of summer holiday bookings to arrive after April 15 as Indians are latst-minute travellers.
"This year, we are seeing more demand for beach stays such as Langkawi and Pangkor Island," he shared. "Many who are opting for Resorts World Genting are looking at the destination as a day trip from Kuala Lumpur.”
Tourism Malaysia is targeting one million Indian tourists this year, a big jump from the 638,578 arrivals from India received in 2016.