MALAYSIA aims to attract 800,000 Thai tourists this year, Bernama reported today.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri hopes to see the Thais reach the top in tourist arrival numbers in Malaysia.
“At present, Thailand ranks second, after Singapore. After a two-year Covid hiatus, we are offering new products and services to meet new travel demand, especially among Thais.
“For example, many Thais may have not been to the two Malaysian Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak. Thus, we hope to attract more international travellers to explore Sabah and Sarawak,” she said at Tourism Malaysia’s networking dinner in conjunction with a sales mission to Thailand in Bangkok yesterday.
Tourism Malaysia is on its first sales mission to Thailand to help reconnect with the latter’s market to support sustainable recovery in the tourism sector.
The mission began on Monday and wraps up today.
Malaysia’s tourism fraternity consists of Malaysia-based airlines, travel agents, hoteliers and product owners.
Nancy said the sales mission would offer insights into Malaysia’s latest tourist attractions and future developments, as well as make new contacts with the tourism industry players in Thailand.
“We hope the sales mission will create new partnerships to attract more Thais to choose Malaysia as their vacation destination. We are not only close to each other as neighbouring countries, but Malaysia is also a value-for-money destination.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us not only to reconnect, but to also reinvigorate the tourism industry together as we look forward to a sustainable recovery, especially in the Asean region,” she said.
Also present were Tourism Malaysia DG Datuk Zainuddin Abdul Wahab and Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel.
Thailand is one of Malaysia’s essential short-haul markets.
In 2019, Malaysia welcomed 1,884,306 arrivals from Thailand and almost 70% of Thai tourists were repeating travellers. They come to Malaysia for holiday, shopping, and to visit friends and relatives.
Nancy said the most visited states by Thais include Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Pahang.
She added that the tourism industry has been a significant contributor to the economy in Malaysia.
In 2019, tourism contributed 15.9% to Malaysia’s economy and supported 3.6 million jobs, which made up 23.6% of the total workforce in the country. — TMR/Bernama pic