DUBAI, 13 May 2022: Tourism Malaysia returned to the Arabian Travel Market this week to restart promotions in the Middle East and network with tourism trade partners after a two-year pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prestigious annual event was held at Dubai World Trade Centre from 9 to 12 May. This year, the Malaysian delegation was led by the Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri. The Malaysia Pavilion consisted of 64 delegates representing 32 organisations, mainly hotels, travel agencies and state tourism boards.
Malaysia reopened its borders to international tourists on 1 April 2022. Commenting on the decision, Dato’ Sri Nancy said: “It was indeed a significant milestone for our tourism industry as we welcome more international first time and returning visitors to boost our economy further. Now that our borders are fully open again, we are confident that we will witness a strong rebound in tourism numbers to bolster the recovery of our economy. This year, we estimate 2 million international tourist arrivals generating more than MYR8.6 billion in tourism receipts.”
Pre-pandemic, in 2019, Malaysia received 397,726 tourists from the MENA region. Saudi Arabia was Malaysia’s top market, accounting for 121,444 tourists, more than 30% of arrivals, from the West Asia and North African regions, an 8.2% increase over the previous year.
The minister scheduled meetings with senior executives from key Middle Eastern airlines to discuss future collaboration during the event. She also attended the signing of a Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) between Tourism Malaysia and Emirates hosted at the airline’s pavilion.
“We will continue to place a strong emphasis and focus on attracting Middle Eastern tourists to Malaysia, so naturally, we will be stepping up our promotional efforts here,” said Dato’ Sri Nancy during the signing ceremony.