There will be no let-up in efforts to promote Malaysia among Middle East travellers despite the current gloomy economic outlook, said Tourism Malaysia's international marketing division deputy director Mohamad Taib Ibrahim.
He said Tourism Malaysia's promotional efforts were here to stay as far as the Middle East market was concerned as the agency took a long-term perspective of the situation.
"We won't neglect this market despite the current adverse economic conditions. We need to be ready when the market rebounds at some point," he told Bernama.
Malaysia received a total of 264,338 tourists from the Middle East last year, compared to 245,302 in 2007.
Mohamad Taib reckoned that nobody was immune to the effects of the global economic meltdown as far as the tourism industry was concerned as people chose to watch their wallets more closely and pay more attention to their travel plans.
"But for us, the Middle East market still has a few bright spots," said the Tourism Malaysia official in charge of marketing Malaysia's charm in South Asia, West Asia and Africa.
The promotional blitz continues next month with the agency's participation, along with other Malaysian tourism players, in the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), here from May 5 to 8.
According to Mohamad Taib, the Tourism Malaysia office in Jeddah would sell Malaysia during post-ATM trips to Syria and Jordan while its counterpart in Dubai had Iran, among other countries, on its radar.
For the Kuwaiti market, Tourism Malaysia has linked up with the Boodai Group to undertake several tourism-related activities.
Mohamad Taib said the Malaysian tourism agency was also working closely with Middle East tour operators and regional airlines like Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways as well Malaysia Airlines in efforts to boost tourist arrivals to Malaysia.
"Malaysia's visibility in the Middle East market remains strong and we'd like to maintain that momentum," he added.
Source : Bernama
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