BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA,19 AUGUST 2022
Kolkata will play a great role in tourism to Malaysia and can become a transit hub of Buddhist tourism- circuit, says deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara JB.
About 200 travel agents of Kolkata along with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI), eastern Region and Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), eastern Region participated in this B2B meet and roadshow today.
The second Malaysia Association of Tours and Travel Agents (MATTA) and Tourism Malaysia RoadShow to India took place at Lalit Great Eastern Hotel in Kolkata today. Four roadshows will be held in India and already on 17 August the first road show has been held at Visakhapatnam.
The next two road shows will be held at Kochi and Tirucherpalli. “It’s a B2B event where we bring together Malaysian sellers of travel and tourism products and services to interact with India counterparts to establish business networking and partnerships,”according to MATTA.
“This is the right time to be back in India, and planning this roadshow is very fitting. The resumption of scheduled international flights from India coincides with the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders. We are thrilled to welcome Indian travelers to our humble abode once again,” said Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara JP.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, YB Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara J.P., together with Malaysia’s tourism fraternity which consists of one Malaysia-based airline, sixteen travel agents, two hoteliers, and one state government agency took part in the roadshow.
Talking to The Travel and Tourism Times, Anil Punjabi, Chairman ( East) of TAFI said that several issues have been discussed today and the most important one was to bring back Malaysian Airlines to Kolkata.
“ Batik Air ( formerly Malindo Airlines) will be operating from Kolkata soon and already all the seats are booked. There is high passenger demand and we have also urged them to bring the Malaysian Airlines back to Kolkata, earlier twice they have been here. Also related issues like Visa procedures and E visa etc have been discussed. This was the first such roadshow of Malaysia tourism post pandemic and was quite fruitful,”Anil Punjabi added.
Anil Punjabi further added that Malaysia is saleable and family and repeat destination. “ We have a tourists / business/ students/ incentive movement and it is growing by the day the E visa is being simplified. Direct connectivity is complimenting and enhancing passengers, ”he added.
“ It is a great sign that more and more international travel and tourism boards are visiting Eastern India to promote tourism. It’s a welcome move by Malaysian Tourism and today we have urged the deputy tourism and culture minister to take up the issue of bringing in Malaysian Airlines to Kolkata. Even tourists and travel agents looking beyond Malaysia and connecting places of Europe and Australia from Kolkata will be immensely helpful if Malaysian Airlines comes to Kolkata,” said Manav Soni, chairman of TAAI ( Estern region).
The officials have agreed to take up the issue with the airlines and passenger data have been exchanged.
Razaidi Abd Rahim, director of Tourism Malaysia (South India and Sri Lanka) and Ganneesh Ramaa, vice-president inbound and domestic of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), also took part in the roadshow.
The cost of tourism packages in Malaysia is almost one third compared to that of Singapore and is quite cheaper and attracts a lot of Indians. Also Malaysia is a big country and has many tourist attraction sites.
India remains a top market and a total of 7,35,309 Indian tourists visited Malaysia in 2019. This was an increase of 22 per cent compared to the previous year. Tourists can apply for e-visa online and Malaysia will allow vaccinated Indians without any Covid19 tests.
Currently, Malaysian e VISA can be applied online and more than 14,000 seats are offered weekly between India and Malaysia through Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia,Indigo and Air India Express.
This event is intended to provide a platform for the members and product owners to create a network and strategic alliance in promoting their products/services as well as to cultivate business opportunities
with their counterparts in India.
“As such, we would like to invite MATTA members, theme park operators and tourism product owners and hoteliers who are focusing on the Indian market to participate in this roadshow,” the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents said. The event at Kolkata started at 3 Pm and the networking lunch started at 8 PM.
TAFI has also proposed a FAM tour from Malaysia next year to promote tourism in the state.
17 August (Wed): B2B Session @ Vishakhapatnam
19 August (Fri): B2B Session @ Kolkata
22 August (Mon): B2B Session @ Kochi
24 August (Wed): B2B Session @ Tiruchirappalli
ABOUT TOURISM MALAYSIA:
Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board , also known as Tourism Malaysia , is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception , it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene.