Malaysia is a key market Vietnam’s tourism industry should focus on in order to broaden its customer base.
Mohd Akbal Setia, Director of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board’s Vietnam office, addressed Vietnamese tourism industry leaders and discussed the successful marketing and promotion strategies Malaysia has employed.
Malaysia is a multiethnic society with a diverse culture. More than 60 percent of the population is Muslim, a novel feature that can be used to entice tourists.
In addition to its unique culinary highlights, the country boasts many beautiful destinations visitors are able to explore, ranging from modern cities and tropical rainforests to mountains and beautiful beaches.
Malaysia provides a range of tourism products catering to different tastes at competitive prices, such as resorts, cultural entertainment adventure sports, and shopping.
Malaysia is currently developing new tourism ventures based on the meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions (MICE) markets.
Setia affirmed Vietnam’s conditions are favourable for becoming an international tourism hotspot, citing its varied and ancient culture and the many sites officially recognised by UNESCO as natural or cultural heritage. The country has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and bays, and hospitable people.
Vietnam should take advantage of these features to develop distinctive tourism products, Setia said.
Malaysia wants to cooperate with Vietnam in tourism development, creating the best possible conditions for citizens from the two countries to explore their respective regional allies.
Since its establishment in Vietnam in November 2011, the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board regularly participates in activities organised by the Vietnamese tourism sector.
It recently sent representatives to the Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM 2013) in Hanoi, where three Malaysian companies discussed tourism strategies with six leading Vietnamese travel agents.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has also organized a series of promotional tourism activities in Malaysia, including the Vietnam Night at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in 2005, and the MATTA Fair in 2007- a programme involving 60 Malaysian businesses and press.
Many travel agents have sent their staff on fact-finding trips to Malaysia to learn more about its tourism market.
Since the two countries exempted each other’s citizens from requiring a visa if travelling for less than a month, the number of Malaysian visitors to Vietnam has increased significantly from 105,000 in 2006 to 233,000 in 2011.