Outbound travel remains healthy among Malaysian travellers to destinations in Asia, especially with the upcoming one-week school break in April coinciding with the Hari Raya festivities and another week-long school break in May.
Suka Holiday’s director Adam Kamal, shared that beaches in Phuket, Krabi and Bali were popular holiday destinations. Taiwan is also gaining traction among Muslim travellers ever since the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board introduced its Salam Taiwan initiative at the recent MATTA Fair In Kuala Lumpur to showcase the destination as being Muslim-friendly.
He said that Australia and Turkey were declining in popularity, citing the former’s stringent eVisa application process, and slow forward bookings for Turkey due to the recent earthquake, as the reasons.
Another outbound agent, Koh Yock Heng, group managing director, Apple Vacations and Conventions, shared that while China had reopened for leisure travel since March 15, Malaysians still face challenges in obtaining a visa, not to mention, airlines flying to China had also not finalised their GIT ticket fares – hence bookings to China remain low.
Koh shared that Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are popular destinations among Malaysian outbound travellers, with cruises out of Port Klang and Singapore also favourable among families and friends travelling together.
Cleland Robertson, director of partner services – Malaysia and Brunei, Agoda, noted that the top three destinations for Malaysia’s outbound travellers were neighbouring countries, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. Other counties in the top 10 outbound destinations include Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and India.
He commented that Malaysians were seeking city destinations, beaches, nature, health and wellness and diving spots during their travel.
Despite a long lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the escalation of travel costs, Malaysian travellers remain undeterred and price-sensitive travellers still look for good deals, observed Enric Casals, regional vice president South-east Asia and Oceania, Agoda.