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Making Malaysia more Accessible

Shahrin Mokhtar, newly appointed director of Tourism Malaysia (Dubai) talks to TBMEs Charmaine Fernz about new strategies, focus and an evolving tourism product for the region….


What are your plans to promote Tourism Malaysia?

We are considering a few areas in terms of promotions. This would be more dynamic interactions across social media platforms i.e. using the Tourism Malaysia Dubai Facebook (Tourism Malaysia AE). We would also look at consolidating and using a fresh appeal to the emerging youth segment while also widening our appeal to high-income earners. This is being considered by adopting two options – strengthen Malaysia’s brand image through increased awareness of luxury brand offerings and product and service innovations wherein we offer highly personalized levels of service.

We would also look to develop new partnerships with potential trade partners. And finally, create sufficient platforms to cultivate Malaysian stakeholders on the market’ needs while securing effective channels for their partnerships with trade and industry players in the market.

Lost World Of Tambun

Which key niches of Malaysia would you like to highlight?

We are pushing Beyond Kuala Lumpur for seasoned travellers. To cite a couple of examples, Sabah and Perak, which has a locational advantage are being promoted for nature, island and beach life, soft adventure activities, cool highlands and new theme parks. These places are easily accessible from the cities. Eco-tourism is another focus areas and it is noticed that in general, travellers from this market are looking for these experiences. However, it needs to be themed with high standards of luxurious services.

We are also raising awareness on the family unique experiences catering to each member of a family. This would range for all age groups who are visiting Malaysia for a holiday. We certainly do get a substantial number of repeat visitors. In a bid to further enhance this segment, we are aiming to keep travellers from this region engaged with constantly developed tourism products and exploring new experiences with every trip to Malaysia.

How do you see Tourism Malaysia work with the travel trade?

We will continue working closely with our trade partner more as equals in terms of promotions for this market. Trade partners are active in creating new packages that in turn increase their client’s satisfaction. We are constantly looking at opportunities and putting in all efforts to support trade partners while developing new packages and assist in delivering the message to the market.

What would be Tourism Malaysia’s target for 2017?

Our target for UAE is 29,000 for 2017. As of 13 August 2017, we have achieved 21,275 arrivals from UAE.

What would be your key areas of focus?

We focus would be to raise market awareness on the new cities in Malaysia. There are still much more experiences that travellers have not yet explored in Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia with stakeholders have created strong tourism products and with our travel trade partners, we will cultivate the market on such industry developments and communicate our marketing messages to those travellers.

We will also look at branding Malaysia as a unique family while also focusing on luxury and Halal destination for Arabs. New experiences will also be showcased in order to capitalize on current high demand of experiential tourism. The focus areas would be soft adventure, eco-tourism, golf, cycling, exotic honeymoon locales and filming opportunities.