What’s drawing Aussie travellers to Malaysia? Tourism Malaysia’s Deputy Director General tells all

Tourism Malaysia 
Hilton Adelaide, South Australia 
Photo: John Kruger

Making his grand appearance Down Under for the Tourism Malaysia Roadshow, Tourism Malaysia’s Deputy Director General Datuk Musa Yusof caught up with the Aussie travel trade after a long-awaited time apart.

Bringing with him 14 suppliers for this five-day roadshow, Datuk Musa said it was so important to physically meet up with the Aussie travel industry in person. Throughout the roadshow Tourism Malaysia introduced new projects like airline collaborations, campaigns with tour operators and famil trips.

“Australia has always been an important source for Malaysia’s tourism industry, and I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all the partners and hope we can continue to work closely together towards a successful and sustainable development of our global travel industry,” Datuk Musa said.

Attendees at the Adelaide roadshow (Tourism Malaysia)

Attendees at the Adelaide roadshow (Tourism Malaysia)

Amongst those sustainable developments is Tourism Malaysia’s drive towards ecotourism, a vital tourism niche that is luring Aussie travellers. Well known for its nature-based activities and ecotourism destinations, many Aussies are visiting Malaysia to discover some of the world’s oldest rainforests hosting thousands of species of flora and fauna.

Iconic spots like Mulu National Park, the Belum Rainforest and the Ranta Abang Turtle hatchery are drawing Aussie wildlife lovers, while adventure travellers are going jungle trekking and rafting to discover Malaysia at their preferred speed.

“Travellers, including Australians, are increasingly interested in destinations that prioritise environmental conservations, community well-being and cultural preservation,” Datuk Musa said. This is driving Malaysia to promote its eco-friendly tourism practices, support local communities and flaunt its rich cultural heritage.

Attendees at the Sydney roadshow (Tourism Malaysia)

Tourism Malaysia team at the Sydney roadshow (Tourism Malaysia)

Travellers enjoying Malaysia’s wide offerings in spades are bleisure – part business, part leisure – travellers. These are travellers extending their business trips to enjoy a few days of RnR before returning to Australia. Datuk Musa said this is a high-priority traveller and that Tourism Malaysia is working with its travel partners to entice more Aussie business travellers to explore Malaysia.

Another initiative Malaysia is undergoing to lure high-end travellers is its partnership with Luxury Escapes. Datuk Musa said this is to ensure that there’s constant high-yield traffic coming into the country.

“We are working with luxury travel providers like Luxury Escapes to develop exclusive and bespoke experiences that showcase Malaysia’s rich culture, which may include guided tours and helicopter rides over scenic landscapes,” he said. One of these more lavish holiday activities is visiting high-end shopping malls that offer personalised services and experiences suited best for affluent travellers.

But it’s not just the lavish travellers taking in this Southeast Asian gem. Datuk Musa told Travel Weekly that Malaysia is a destination for everyone, and this is seen through its array of popular value-for-money spots and activities that allure Aussie travellers.

But this concept of ‘Malaysia for everyone’ extends to its own population through initiatives like the Malaysia Homestay Programme. This is a community-based programme that engages rural communities to get involved with tourism, allowing them to generate income and directly participate through their businesses.

“Hence, Australian tourists get the chance to stay, eat, and play with a Malaysian host family to experience an authentic kampung – or village lifestyle – in Malaysia,” Datuk Musa said.

Theses new initiatives are just some of the exciting ongoings happening in the Malaysia tourism space. To find out more about this and the Tourism Malaysia Roadshow, click here.

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