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Malaysia witnesses spike in Arab tourists and spending

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said that there has been a sharp increase in the number of Arab tourists last year, from about 27,000 Arabs in 2017 to 33,000 in 2018.

According to The Star, total spending by Arab tourists amounted to RM3.8 billion last year and this came after Pakatan Harapan won the general elections last year. Mohamaddin added that the increase spending is partly because Arabs hold Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership in “high regard”, The Star reported. He expects the number of Arab tourist arrivals to increase to 35,000 in 2019.

Saudi Arabians formed the largest spenders in Malaysia, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Iran and Kuwait. Tourists from Sweden and the UK were next in line on the list of biggest spenders in Malaysia. According to Mohamaddin, Malaysia was being “actively” promoted as a tourist destination among the Arab media, and a radio station in Dubai even aired a tourism package on Malaysia at least 20 times each day.

Separately, multiple media reports also stated that Tourism Malaysia has tied up with Air Arabia, a low cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, for a promotional campaign introducing direct daily flights from Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur. The campaign will run across Egypt, Iraq and the Gulf Cooperation Council, and is in line with the goals of Visit Malaysia 2020, which aims to attract 30 million tourists by next year.

In March this year, Tourism Malaysia called for a global creative and media pitch and the appointment is for a period of two years. It said in the tender document that it is seeking a creative and branding agency to work on its advertising campaigns and interested agencies should have experience in at least three of the following – print media, digital media, billboards, design and fine arts, IP and all other media advertising services. Meanwhile, its media pitch covers four regions – ASEAN, North and East Asia, South and West Asia and Europe, the US and Oceania.

(Read also: Tourism Ministry to hold contest to amend flamed Visit Malaysia 2020 logo)

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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