Malaysia goes for young Middle Easterns

Malaysia is eyeing the Middle Eastern market and has launched a string of products to lure the younger generation.

At the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Malaysian minister of tourism and arts, Nancy Shukri, said: “The last three years have given us plenty of time to think about what we want to do and this region is very important to us. We have come up with new itineraries and offerings to cater to this market.”

Nancy: it’s also time for us to promote more and entice a new target group – the younger generation

Pre-pandemic, in 2019, Malaysia welcomed 397,726 visitors from the Middle East and North Africa region – Saudi Arabia was the top source market with 121,444 tourists.

Nancy said traditionally Malaysia was a popular destination for families from the Gulf Cooperation Council, especially during the summer holidays, where they mainly visited the island of Langkawi. However, campaigns now are urging the region’s younger generation to explore other parts of the country.

She said: “We’re now trying to get tourists closer to our nature. It’s also time for us to promote more and entice a new target group – the younger generation. We have lots of exciting new offerings for them.”

In addition to promoting halal spas and accommodation, Tourism Malaysia is developing a series of cross-country motorhome and caravan tours. A series of glamping activities are also being rolled out, such as staying amid Malaysia’s orchards which bloom during the summer months.

To help stimulate arrivals from the region, Tourism Malaysia plans to lure more airlines from the Middle East to its airports this year. During ATM, Tourism Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) with Emirates to promote tourism and boost traffic to Malaysia from key markets across the airline’s network.

Emirates also plans to organise familiarisation trips with major tourism and media to come and experience Malaysia.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ chief commercial officer, said: “The MoC builds on the successful relationship we have with Malaysia, and underscores its significance as a key market in Emirates’ global network.”

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