The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian travel associations to boost tourism between Malaysia and India in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign.
The national travel associations from India that have signed the MoU include Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) and Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI).
"Malaysia is ready to welcome foreign tourists including from India for VM2020 and this MoU is a winning collaboration for MATTA, TAAI, TAFI and OTOAI, which augurs well for tourism in both countries," MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said in- a statement yesterday.
"MATTA will be introducing fresh itineraries and attractive tour packages to encourage more tourists from India to visit Malaysia," he said, adding that India has traditionally been contributing to the tourism industry.
According to Tan, the number of tourists from India has been increasing from 552,739 in 2017 to 600,311 in 2018 and about 750,000 in 2019, an increase of 23.2%.
Last week, The Malaysian Reserve reported that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC)anticipates higher tourism revenue from the rise of tourist arrivals from China and India following the implementation of visa-free entry.
MOTAC Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said while no extra expenditure was incurred from the visa exemption, the increased arrivals are expected to boost earnings for the tourism industry Via the services, as well as food and beverage segments.
"I (do not) have a set number of targeted increase against last year, but hopefully with the (visa) exemption, there will be an increase in the tourist expenditure receipts," Mohamaddin said at the VM2020 vehicle stickers launch ceremony.
MATTA has engaged in activities to promote Malaysia to new and high potential markets, which include but not limited to Asean countries, India, China and European nations, especially from the Balkans, Poland and Hungary.
The association together with MOTAC and Tourism Malaysia have also made an effort to increase Malaysia's presence at global trade shows, such as Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin and World Travel Market London.
MATTA also has an extensive affiliation with regional tourism associations such as the Asean Tourism Association and the Federation of Asean Travel Associations, while also being the only Asian member of the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association.
Tourism Malaysia is looking at a 7% increase of tourist arrivals from China and India, which are among the largest markets for the country's tourism industry.
For VM2020, Tourism Malaysia aims for approximately 3.26 million Chinese tourists and 683,000 Indian tourists.
From January to September 2019, 2.41 million tourists from China and 539,167 tourists from India were recorded. — TMR