Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) is encouraging more inbound agents to cater to the China market to ensure there are enough suppliers to support the expected influx of Chinese tourists this year, according to the association’s president Uzaidi Udanis.
“By getting new agents involved, we believe Malaysia can create niche itineraries and promote new destinations to encourage more repeat visitors,” Uzaidi said.
He added: “We are also trying to attract agents with non-Chinese speaking staff to enter this market as many Chinese travel agents these days are able to communicate in English. Mandarin is no longer an essential requirement.”
For a start, MITA is collaborating with Tourism Malaysia to organise a B2B networking session in Xiamen from May 22 to 25, following the Malaysian government’s announcement to open a new visa centre in the city to improve tourism numbers to one million from the Fujian province itself.
There are also plans to hold similar B2B networking sessions in other Chinese cities in 2H2017.
Uzaidi said: “MITA hope to keep costs below RM5,000 (US$1,138) per participant and this will cover airfare, ground arrangements and the B2B session. By keeping costs low, we hope to encourage new and small inbound agents to participate.
“We understand many are unable to promote at overseas travel trade events where a table at the Malaysia pavilion will cost anything between RM6,000 to RM20,000, (excluding) airfare and ground arrangements.”
Source : TTG Asia