Tourism Malaysia resumed its presence at OTM 2024 in Mumbai, focusing on niche tourism to attract Indian travelers, supported by a series of market-wide promotional activities and strategic airline partnerships.
Tourism Malaysia marked its return to India’s largest tourism fair Travel to Mars March (OTM) 2024, held in Mumbai from February 8 to 10, 2024, after a hiatus since 2020. This participation underscored a strategic effort to reinforce Malaysia’s status as a top tourist destination among Indian travelers. The event, expected to attract over 35,000 trade visitors, aims to promote niche tourism products, including shopping, golf, luxury tourism, theme parks and honeymoon packages, as well as emerging segments such as weddings and incentivized tourism. from the movies.
The Malaysian delegation, headed by Dato’ Dr. Ammar Abd. Ghapar, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, included a strong industry representation, with twenty-three travel 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 foster stronger collaborations with Indian tour operators and the wider tourism fraternity.
In addition to the fair, Tourism Malaysia embarked on a series of promotional activities within the Indian market, starting with the Malaysian Food and Culture Festival, held from 5 to 11 February 2024. This was followed by an extensive roadshow campaign covering four major cities of India—Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad—from 11 to 19 February 2024 and culminating in South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) in Delhi, from 22 to 24 February 2024.
Dato’ Dr. Ammar Abd. Ghapar emphasized the importance of India as a priority market for Malaysia, noting the strong economic ties and deep cultural ties 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 them coming from India. The visa-free policy for Indian tourists, in effect till December 31, 2024, was expected to further increase these numbers.
The event also served as a platform to promote Visit Malaysia 2026, capitalizing on the extensive publicity the program generated. Providing uninterrupted air connectivity, a total of 180 flights provided 33,374 seats per week between India and Malaysia, with major airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia and IndiGo playing leading roles.
Dersenish Aresandiran, Chief Airline Commercial Officer from Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), expressed his enthusiasm for the participation of Malaysia Airlines as the official airline partner for OTM 2024. The airline’s commitment to enhance tourism exchanges was evident in its operation of 69 weekly flights from nine major centers in India. Special fares were offered for flights from India to Kuala Lumpur, starting from just INR 12,996, inviting travelers to explore Malaysia’s cultural heritage and natural beauty.
Tourism Malaysia’s comprehensive efforts in OTM 2024 and related promotional activities reflected a concerted strategy to attract more Indian tourists, aiming to strengthen the tourism link between Malaysia and India.
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