Malaysian operators look for alternatives to Europe

SOME Malaysian inbound operators, reeling from a drop in European arrivals over the last two years as the continent continues to suffer from a limp economy and weak currency, have turned to developing new markets to make up for the revenue loss.

To compound the situation further, the UK and Germany have also implemented additional flight taxes – air passenger duty and green tax respectively – that have affected passengers to longhaul destinations like Malaysia the most.

Ping Anchorage Travel & Tours CEO, Alex Lee, saw business from Europe halve in 2010 compared to 2008. “We also saw a decrease in the length of stay and spending among the leisure market in Europe,” he said.

Lee said targeting the Asian markets would help address the problem. “We have intensified our marketing efforts to the domestic (Malaysia) market, South-east Asia (Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia) and China to make up for the shortfall,” he said.

Similarly, Diethelm Travel’s managing director Manfred Kurz is “developing new markets in advance”, extending marketing efforts to Russian-speaking tourists in Eastern Europe. The company will initially target FITs before expanding to groups and MICE.

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