With a total of 25.8 million international tourists arriving in Malaysia in 2018, ITB Berlin will be instrumental in boosting visitor numbers to this exotic, exciting and welcoming destination.
With the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign in the works, Malaysia’s ministry for tourism and culture is targeting arrival figures of 30 million for next year and tourist receipts of RM100bn (roughly €22 billion).
“I believe Malaysia’s cultural uniqueness is a big draw for the European market,” explained Mohamaddin Bin Haji Ketapi, minister of tourism, Malaysia.
“As you may know, Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures with influences from Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities, as well as from Europe, Arab and the Malay Archipelago.
“This has resulted in a mixed yet harmonious legacy that manifests itself in Malaysia’s architecture, clothing, language, cuisine and other aspects.
“As such, the highlight of our presence at ITB this year will be the cultural aspects that we bring to the show.”
Visitors to ITB Berlin will have the opportunity to experience Malaysia’s architecture, local food and cultural performances.
The country’s colourful national cultural troupe will showcase an hour-long performance during the Opening Gala reflecting the beauty and diversity of Malaysian culture and heritage.
“Malaysia’s breath-taking nature, its warm, welcoming multi-cultural peoples, and its exceptional, varied cuisine, have made it a ‘must’ as a destination in south-east Asia,” said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin.
“Having Malaysia as our official country partner this year will enhance ever-so-important cultural links and engender more awareness and appreciation, both for us of their culture and traditions, and for them of ours.”
The number of employees involved in Malaysia’s tourism sector rose to 3.4 million in 2017 from 1.5 million in 2005.
Employment in the tourism industry contributed 23.2 per cent to total employment in 2017, up from 15 per cent 2005/
Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, stated: “I wish to congratulate Malaysia on being ITB’s partner country for this year.
“Malaysia is a founding member of UNWTO and one of its most active members, involved at several levels of the organisation’s activities and governing bodies.
“Malaysia identified tourism as one of the forefront industries in its economy because of tourism’s great potential in job creation, socio-economic development as well as foreign income generation - tourism is currently the second largest foreign exchange earner.”
Malaysia is a diverse tourism destination that offers world-class attractions, including nature, shopping, adventure, islands and beaches, as well as many international events, offering visitors a plethora of interesting choices.
Besides that, the country is also a major destination for health tourism and MICE events.