Malaysia truly Asia Announced Collaborative Initiatives to Drive Growth of 2.5 Million European Visitors by 2020 at Fitur 2018
Feb 14, 2018

At the recent 38th edition of FITUR 2018, a travel fair exhibition in Madrid, targeting Spanish countries in Spain and Latin America, country brand Malaysia Truly Asia received overwhelming response from trade buyers, medias and visitors.

The 15-member Malaysian delegation was led by YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, accompanied by Deputy Secretary General (Tourism), Puan Haslina Abdul Hamid; Deputy Director General (Promotion) Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud; and Senior Director of Tourism Malaysia for International Promotions - America, Europe and Oceania, Dato’ Mohmed Razip Hasan.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri reaffirmed that collaborative partnerships and alliances with European trade partners will be one of the key drivers to spur growth of visitors to Malaysia in the run up to the Visit Malaysia Year campaign 2020. The delegation also included Tourism Selangor led by the Chief Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. The state tourism council participated for the first time at FITUR Madrid and aims at exploring more opportunities to promote Selangor to the Spanish travellers. The Chief Minister of Selangor was accompanied by the State Exco for Tourism, YB Ms Elizabeth Wong and General Manager of Tourism Selangor, Puan Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din.

At a press media briefing held on the 2nd day of FITUR, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri highlighted a list of significant marketing collaborations and developments for Malaysia in the European market, among them partnership with ECTAA (Confederation of European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association) for Malaysia as its Preferred Destination Partner 2018; partnership with CEAV (Confederation of Spanish Travel Agents in Spain), represented by its President, Mr Rafael Gallego, and Mr Pedro Ferreira, President of Portuguese Travel Agent Association; Malaysia as Official ITB Country Partner 2019 in Berlin; marketing collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airports Berhad Holdings with German-based Condor Airlines to commence three weekly flights from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur starting November 2018 and a new cruise programme with TUI (UK) Cruises 2018/2019, with potential capacity to welcome 7,200 passengers.

The PATA Travel Mart (Pacific Area Travel Association) 2018 which will see participation by about 2,000 global trade professionals will take place in Langkawi from 12 to 14 September. The event is jointly hosted by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and Tourism Malaysia.

In 2016, tourist arrivals to Malaysia was 26.8 million, a growth of +4% and contributed about RM82.1 billion (17.8 billion euros) in tourism receipts, a phenomenal growth of 18.8% in revenue. Target arrivals for 2018 is 33.1 million with tourism receipts expected around RM134 billion (29 billion euros).

“Spain is an important market having reached an incremental growth of 28.4% with more than 40,000 arrivals in 2017. With the commencement of Qatar Airways’ three weekly flights from Doha to Penang commencing 6 February, Spanish travellers can now visit Penang direct from Madrid or Barcelona with a stopover in Doha, with opportunity to combine with other destinations in the country,” says Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri.

A special 11 nights/12 days travel package to Penang/Kuala Lumpur with extensions to other parts of Malaysia was launched at FITUR by Qatar Airways, Dimensiones Club, Penang Global Tourism and Tourism Malaysia. Tourism Selangor also launched #DiscoverSelangor latest video campaign with a tagline #TakeMeAnywhere.

A presentation seminar attended by select top Spanish travel agents was also organised by Tourism Malaysia and Qatar Airways. Also scheduled were one-to-one meetings with key decision makers from airline companies, confederations of tour operators and travel agencies and media interviews with travel trade magazines.

Among them were with Mr Michel de Blust, Secretary General of ECTAA; Mr Pedro Costa Ferreira, President of Portuguese Travel Agent Association; Mr Rafael Gallego, President of Confederation of Spanish Travel Agents (CEAV); Mr Gerardo Manzano of EuropAir; and Mr Neil Chernoff, Iberia’s Senior Vice President for Network and Alliances.

“All these developments are timely, especially in the run-up to our Visit Malaysia Year campaign in 2020 – a significant year in which Malaysia hopes to attract 36 million tourists worldwide,” the Minister said.

After the meeting with Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri, Mr Pedro Costa Ferreira, President of Portuguese Travel Agent Association and Mr Rafael Gallego, President of Confederation of Spanish Travel Agents (CEAV) agreed to organise their Annual General Meetings (AGM) in Kuala Lumpur next year.

Focusing on further strengthening the long haul European markets, Tourism Malaysia also organised a meeting attended by Tourism Malaysia’s overseas directors and marketing managers from stations from Almaty, The Hague, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Moscow, Paris, Istanbul and marketing representatives for Italian and the Scandinavian markets to strategise market action plans and directions for 2018-2020.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri also paid courtesy calls to the new Secretary General of UNWTO, Mr Zurab Pololikashvili at the UNWTO office in Madrid, accompanied by HE Ambassador of Malaysia to Spain, Mr Zainal Abidin Bakar, MOTAC’s Deputy Secretary General, Puan Haslina Abdul Hamid, Deputy Director General (Promotion) Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud and tourism senior officials.

Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri reiterated Malaysia’s strong support towards UNWTO and shall continue to assume active role by participating in UNWTO’s programmes and activities. As Malaysia will soon announce its Visit Malaysia Year campaign 2020, the Minister thanked UNWTO for giving Malaysia the permission to incorporate UNWTO’s tagline #TravelEnjoyRespect into the VMY 2020 branding campaign, in line with Malaysia’s continuous efforts to promote sustainable tourism.

Malaysia is set to achieve its goals to welcome 36 million visitors by 2020 with tourism receipts of RM168 billion (approx. 38 billion euros).


For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene in 2016, Malaysia registered 26.8 million tourist arrivals, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world.

Press contact:

Media Relations Unit:

Aliza Mansor, Senior Assistant Director, Corporate Communication Division
Tel: +603-8891 8789

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- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution