Malaysia’s tourism agency has chosen to invest in the next edition of Bit. Let’s discover more about this eclectic destination, waiting for February, along with Vincenza Andreini, marketing manager of Tourism Malaysia.
Can you tell us some curiosity about the tourist flows to Malaysia?
I can tell you that the Italian tourist flows to Malaysia have been growing steadily over the years. We closed 2016 with 42,747 attendance, and data from January to August 2017 increased by 6% over the same period of 2016. We are experiencing a rise in honeymooners and families, even with small children, because Malaysia, beyond to be a safe destination, with excellent health facilities, requires no visas nor vaccinations. In short, this is a very conscious tourism. Official statistics then show something curious: Italians are the biggest spenders among European travelers with a daily average of around 140 euros. This confirms that, besides being an informed traveler, the Italian is also very attentive to the quality of the trip.
Kuala Lumpur is among the 10 most visited cities in the world. What are the attitudes of tourists visiting this city and the rest of the country?
Kuala Lumpur is a magical city: the most remarkable landmark is the PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS (the famous 451-meter tall twin towers), an architectural masterpiece. But in fact this city is full of flower gardens, fountains, and just outside the Golden Triangle, you come across traditional neighborhoods, often with colorful, cozy wooden cottages. Italians visiting Kuala Lumpur usually stop for 3 days, and among the most popular tours of all, regardless of age or type of trip, fall within the Petronas Twin Towers, the Hindu temple excavated in the limestone grotto of Batu Caves, and picturesque local shopping venues such as Central Market or Chinatown. Kuala Lumpur is easy to visit because it is well served by public transport such as the monorail subway, the normal metro (and who does not remember the final scene of the movie Entrapment at Kuala Lumpur Metro Station?), but also cheap buses, and to reach KLIA International Airport, it’s only 28 minutes by train from the city center.
The truth is that any type of traveler, being a lover of sea, nature, mice, honeymooners, etc., love Kuala Lumpur, because it is a multifaceted city.
What do you expect from presence at Bit2018?
We’ve participated in BIT since 1990, we have never missed an edition. It’s an important appointment because it allows direct contact with travelers, giving us a ‘thermometer’ of preferences and travel trends. We like to know what their questions are, the information they ask us, and we have noticed that every time at BIT we are asked for more and more detailed information. Once tourists used to ask about the climate and what to see, today they wonder about the distance between two remote villages, or the name of a tribe, or what ingredients are in a dish, or how to reach an island off the tourist routes. From BIT2018 we expect to reconfirm contact with the public, and to always be a valid support for their trips. In addition, 2018 will be the beginning of preparations for Visit Malaysia Year 2020, with many on site projects, and BIT will be a great opportunity to introduce VMY 2020 to the Italian market.
As a tourist agency, are you planning news or special events for 2018?
Yes, we have several activities planned, and they will be aimed at both the trade and the final consumer. We will never stop paying attention to travel agencies because they remain a key intermediary in choosing the long-haul travel; in the specific case of Malaysia, we estimate that at least 60% book through specialists on the destination.
We renew the appointment with Malaysia from 11 to 13 February in Bit2018.