The event, which attracted over 100 travel and hospitality representatives of six nations in Southeast Asia including Vietnam, was the last program after week-long activities in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Sarawak, Penang, Langkawi and Melaka. The trip for these representatives was made at the invitation of Tourism Malaysia and its national air carrier Malaysia Airlines, with an aim to promote new destinations.
Mohd Akbal Setia, director of Tourism Malaysia’s office in Vietnam, said that besides familiar shopping packages, his country wanted to promote golf courses, islands and beaches for newly-weds and incentive travel to Vietnamese tourists.
“Malaysia has around 200 golf courses but the cost of a round is cheaper than in Vietnam, while many young couples love islands and beaches for their honeymoons and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) tourists from Vietnam are a potential market to Malaysia,” Setia added.
Last year, 123,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Malaysia, while arrivals from Malaysia to Vietnam ranked eighth in the top ten tourism markets to Vietnam, according to Tourism Malaysia’s office in Vietnam.
Luong Duy Khiem, sales manager of Hanoi-based ANZ Travel, told the Daily on the sidelines of the travel mart that in spite of the economic downturn, the travel demands of Vietnamese and Asian people are rising.
“They want to come to Southeast Asian countries for their vacation because of similar culture, short-haul flights and cheap airfares,” he said.
Vietnam tour operators had networking opportunities as well as the chance to promote Vietnam travel to other regional countries at the travel mart.
During a three-day trip Vietnam-based travel firms experienced an island and sea tour in Sabah, located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo.
Khiem said his company would consider opening new tours for more Vietnamese tourists to visit Sabah.
“In the future we will focus on high-end tourists who want to play golf in foreign countries as well as enjoy a relaxing break,” he said.