Malaysia may open its borders in the third quarter of 2021, but already has the Indian travel trade excited. They’ve already raised queries and are seeking information for sending their clients to the destination.
Just as everyone else did, Sulaiman Bin Suip, Director, Tourism Malaysia, North & East India, also thought that the pandemic wouldn’t last long. But, he says that after a year of closed borders, the biggest learning was to not take anything for granted and be prepared all the time. “Another thing we learnt from the pandemic was the importance of online promotions. Virtual engagements are going to be key in future, and we should be prepared for such eventualities,” he says.
Bin Suip reveals that they recently had a meeting with partner agents, airlines and associations where they concluded that everyone should now be prepared with countries beginning to roll out their vaccination programmes. “We don’t want to be left behind. We have come up with some joint promotional campaigns with our travel trade partners. When borders open, we will implement them and will work with our industry partners in Malaysia to add value to packages being offered by travel agents. India is one of our most important markets. We have also asked airlines to work with us to create awareness. I think, there are two key issues we should be addressing— awareness and confidence. Hence, we have planned to conduct Fam trips for agents, media and key opinion leaders, which will help us convince them that we are taking all necessary precautions and protocols to ensure that the tourists visiting Malaysia remain safe,” he adds. In fact, the Director informs that Indian agents are already asking them about bidding for big M!CE groups to Malaysia. “We have been receiving enquiries from agents if they can start bidding for M!CE group movements to Malaysia. These are groups of 700-800 Pax,” he shares.