Tourism Malaysia resumed its presence at OTM 2024 in Mumbai, focusing on niche tourism to attract Indian travelers, backed by a series of market-wide promotional activities and strategic airline partnerships.
Tourism Malaysia marked its return to India’s largest tourism fair, the Outbound Travel Mart (OTM) 2024, held in Mumbai from 8th to 10th February 2024, after a hiatus since 2020. This participation underscored a strategic effort to reinforce Malaysia’s status as a top tourism destination among Indian travelers. The event, anticipated to attract over 35,000 trade visitors, aimed at promoting niche tourism products including shopping, golfing, luxury tourism, theme parks, and honeymoon packages, as well as emerging segments like weddings and film-induced tourism.
The Malaysian delegation, led by Dato’ Dr. Ammar Abd. Ghapar, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, included a robust representation from the industry, with twenty-three tour agents, eleven hotel/resort operators, four tourism product owners, three state tourism boards, two airline operators, and several officials from Tourism Malaysia. This collective presence underscored Malaysia’s commitment to fostering stronger collaborations with Indian tour operators and the broader tourism fraternity.
In addition to the fair, Tourism Malaysia embarked on a series of promotional activities within the Indian market, commencing with the Malaysia Food and Cultural Festival, held from 5th to 11th February 2024. This was followed by an extensive roadshow campaign covering four key Indian cities—Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta, and Ahmedabad—from 11th to 19th February 2024, and culminating in the South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in Delhi, from 22nd to 24th February 2024.
Dato’ Dr. Ammar Abd. Ghapar highlighted the significance of India as a priority market for Malaysia, noting the robust economic ties and deep cultural connections between the two nations. India ranks as Malaysia’s fifth-largest source of tourists, a testament to the vibrant exchange between the two countries. From January to September 2023, Malaysia welcomed 14.4 million tourists, with 472,479 of those coming from India. The visa-free policy for Indian tourists, effective until 31st December 2024, was expected to further boost these numbers.
The event also served as a platform to promote Visit Malaysia 2026, leveraging the extensive publicity the program generated. Ensuring seamless air connectivity, a total of 180 flights provided 33,374 seats weekly between India and Malaysia, with major airlines like Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia, and IndiGo playing pivotal roles.
Dersenish Aresandiran, Chief Commercial Officer of Airlines from Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), expressed excitement about Malaysia Airlines’ participation as the official airline partner for OTM 2024. The airline’s commitment to enhancing tourism exchanges was evident in its operation of 69 weekly flights from nine major hubs in India. Special fares were offered for flights from India to Kuala Lumpur, starting at just INR 12,996, inviting travelers to explore Malaysia’s cultural heritage and natural beauty.
Tourism Malaysia’s comprehensive efforts at OTM 2024 and its associated promotional activities reflected a concerted strategy to attract a greater number of Indian tourists, aiming to strengthen the tourism bond between Malaysia and India.
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