Visit Malaysia Year 2007 (VMY 2007) will receive a boost with today’s signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Star Planet. and Galileo.Star Planet is a leading professional services firm focused on bringing world-class concerts and entertainment related events, and Galileo Asia LLC is a global-technology leader providing electronic global distribution services for the travel industry and a subsidiary of Travelport Inc.
The signing of the MOU was witnessed by YB Dato’ Donald Lim Siang Chai, Deputy Minister of Tourism Malaysia.
The strategic agreement will enable Galileo connected travel agents across the Asia Pacific region to access entertainment events held in Malaysia.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Alan Foo, Managing Director of Star Planet said, “Our partnership with Galileo will synergize the travel and tourism sector with our entertainment business. It will provide tourists who are visiting Malaysia the value-add option to include our mega concerts and events into their travel itinerary.”
With the signing of this MOU, Galileo travel agencies will not only sell conventional travel packages that include hotel accommodation, transportation and air tickets but will now be able to include concerts or musical fests as part of their itinerary while on holiday in Malaysia.
Foo explained that Star Planet and Galileo both believe that entertainment tourism, like other niche and innovative tourism products, is the way forward to marketing tourism as the sector becomes more competitive.
“Of course, Malaysia’s main attraction will always be its natural beauty and cultural heritage but that doesn’t mean niche tourism products such as eco-tourism, agro-tourism and entertainment tourism do not have a significant role to play in attracting tourists,” added Foo.
“Imagine the attraction entertainment tourism will give to tourists from countries like Hong Kong, Korea, China and Taiwan if we were to bring in their favourite stars like Jay Chou from Taiwan, Rain from Korea, Hacken Lee from Hong Kong or even Madonna and make these ‘live’ concerts part of their overall experience in Malaysia,” he said.
Foo added that entertainment tourism has huge potential in promoting Malaysia as a world-class tourist destination as the appeal of a celebrity brand is very effective in making Malaysia a global tourist destination of choice. In fact, entertainment tourism is seen as a key marketing tool for Visit Malaysia Year 2007.
Despite not having aggressively marketed its concerts overseas, Star Planet’s events typically attract tourists from Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, The Philippines, Hong Kong and China, making up 10% of the total number of concert goers.
“We are confident, through our partnership with Galileo and the inclusion of our concerts and events in visitors’ travel itineraries, the number of foreigners attending our concerts will increase as we expand our reach to other Asian markets.” said Foo.
George Harb, Marketing Director, Travelport Asia said Galileo is constantly in search of content that will enrich customer travel experiences. “We want to empower our travel agencies to sell more by providing more choices and helping them better serve their customers. With this partnership, Galileo-connected agents are able to better serve their customers while encouraging inbound traffic to Malaysia.”
Harb added, “We are excited to be working with Star Planet and are particularly happy with their decision to make their inventory available to Galileo-connected travel agents.”