Tourism Malaysia eyes promotion of niche market segments
The new vice-president at Tourism Malaysia’s New York office has identified “good business potential” in certain niche market segments which will be promoted during his tenure. Ahmad Johanif Mohd Ali listed them as adventure, nature, diving, business travel and MICE (meetings, incentive travels, conferences and exhibitions). “These segments are inherent with good business potential.
“But we also need to enhance the awareness of travellers from this part of the world about the attractions of Malaysia as a destination,” Johanif, who arrived here two weeks ago, told Bernama in an interview on Tuesday. Johanif noted that in a fiercely competitive place like New York, prices for long-haul flights were of crucial importance. “However, being a long-haul destination for American travellers, Malaysia’s attractiveness can be further enhanced by offering it in combination with another destination in Southeast Asia such as Thailand or Singapore,” he said.
Malaysia received a total of 240,134 visitors from the United States (US) in 2012, which was in fact, higher than the actual target of 230,000 visitors set for the US offices. The 2012 figures showed a 10.8 percent increase over 2011.
Another interesting segment inherent with good tourism potential is Malaysia’s rainforests with their unique and exotic flora and fauna, which foreign visitors as well as students of ecology, botany and nature would find fascinating. Having been Tourism Malaysia’s director in Sarawak before arriving in New York, Johanif has acquired good insights into the intricacies of nature and adventure tourism.
Johanif also discerned the cruise tourism segment as holding good promise for business, with this in mind, the New York office will attend the Miami Cruise Show scheduled for March in Miami. Tourism Malaysia is also eyeing for cruise ships to stop in Penang, Kota Kinabalu or Kuching en route to other destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong or Japan.