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Indians exploring non-traditional destinations in Malaysia

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Travel Spirit International celebrates silver jubilee
Travel Spirit International celebrated its 25th anniversary at Fio, Garden of Five Senses in Delhi. They also released their new brochure for TSI Luxury Holidays

Tourism Malaysia recently organised a sales mission in India which saw 47 members’ strong delegation visit four cities – Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. “We decided to have a sales mission for India to re-establish our presence here and reinforce our relationship with the Indian travel trade. We also want to inform them about the new developments back home, new products, packages and also events,” said Zulkifly Md Said, director, international marketing division (South Asia/ West Asia/Africa), Tourism Malaysia. This is of particular importance considering the fact that Indians are now going out of their way to explore those non-traditional destinations in Malaysia. In terms of tourist arrivals and income receipts India is at number six and among the top ten markets for Malaysia. Other countries in the top ten include UK, Australia and China. The target in terms of visitor arrivals from India is 780,000 in 2013, while in 2014 Tourism Malaysia expects to cross the 800,000 mark. Emphasising on the ease of visa processing for Indian travellers, Said stated that Tourism Malaysia is hopeful of opening more VFS offices in tier II cities in the country. Talking about the different segments of travellers, Said stated, “We see mostly families coming to Malaysia. Big entourages have come with Indian weddings, which have mostly been held on beaches of Malaysia. Indians also come for F1 – our leg is in the first quarter of the year from March 21-22. Then there is the MotoGP that happens in the last quarter of the year. Last year we promoted MotoGP with Mahindra Holidays among their members, we did online promotions and 129 people from India came to the event.”

Indians are now increasingly becoming interested in eco and adventure tourism activities, they are now opting for activities ranging from river safari in Sabah to to diving in Lankayan Island, mentioned Said. “While top Indian golfers have been participating in golf tournaments in Malaysia, it is interesting to see groups of amateur golfers from India visit Malaysia with their families. This segment is growing,” stated Said. The year 2012 also saw 30-40 Indian TV crews visit the country, including those filming documentaries.

The biggest tourist attraction that opened in Malaysia last year is Legoland. “They have also opened the Hello Kitty theme part in Johor. In the future we see a lot of potential in Johor due to its proximity to Singapore. There is also the Johor Premium Outlets where you can get several premium brands at 30 per cent to 40 per cent discount,” added Said. Shopping being on the top of list for Indian travellers this would be of particular interest to them.

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