By Sheendy Patricia Olivares and Ma. Mikaela Alonso | Interns
TOURISM Malaysia launched its first sales mission to Davao at Dusit Thani Hotel on May 24 to heighten awareness and interest among Filipino tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia, focuses on promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination in the region.
The week-long event has been conducted in Manila and Davao, led by Dato’ Dr. Ammar Ghapar, director general of Tourism Malaysia, from 20th to 28th May 2023.
The program targets boosting inbound tourism to Malaysia by highlighting features from the family, education, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), healthcare and medical tourism, and long-stay options for digital nomads.
Highlighted through the event were Melaka Tourism, Malaysia Health Services, and the Davao Region tourism destinations.
Ghapar cited the close relationship between the Philippines and Malaysia, which made them build up their promotion to offer with the Filipinos, including Davao, “we can see the potential here,” he said.
They noticed Davao’s efforts to promote halal products. Coming from an Islam country Malaysia, he saw the potential in combining products between the two countries.
The Malaysian sellers and Filipino buyers are gathered through business sessions and gala dinners in both cities, apart from two seminars conducted at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City, and Dusit Thani D2 Davao, respectively, focusing on leisure, shopping, and the niche tourism markets.
“The Philippines has always been the top 10 source market for international travel to Malaysia. Our challenge is to move forward after the pandemic and to work together to create a seamless and unforgettable experience for tourists when they visit ASEAN as a single yet multifarious travel destination,” Ghapar said.
In 2022, more than 159,442 tourists from the Philippines visited Malaysia, and Tourism Malaysia aims to continuously increase this number through the new segments featured in the sales mission. There are currently 64 weekly flights from Manila to Malaysia via Malaysia Airlines, Philippines Airlines, AirAsia, and Cebu Pacific.
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