TAIPEI, 10 November 2014: Tourism Malaysia’s Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen led 30 organisations to participate in the Taipei International Travel Fair (Taipei ITF) 2014, which is the largest in Taiwan. The event was held from 7 to 10 November at the World Trade Center (TWTC).

The Malaysian delegation comprised travel agents, representatives from hotels and tourist attractions and tourism product owners. Both Sabah Tourism Board and Sarawak Tourism Board also participated in the event. Accompanying Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng to the event was the Deputy Director General (Planning) of Tourism Malaysia Chong Yoke Har.

During the travel fair, the Malaysia Pavilion, officiated by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng, was visited by various dignitaries including the Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuong Shih, the Chairman of Taipei ITF Cherng Tyan Su, the Chairwoman of Taiwan Visitors Association Janice Lai, and the Director General of Taiwan Tourism Bureau David W. J. Hsieh.

The Malaysia Pavilion garnered a lot of attention through the performances by the Johor Cultural troupe and Zafana Sri Alunan from Sekolah Kebangsaan Orang Kaya Ali Muar, which include dances such as Joget, Zapin, Chinese dance, Indian dance and the Malaysia Truly Asia dance.

This year, a total of 62 countries participated in the Taipei ITF with almost 1,000 booths, attracting over 300,000 consumers. For Taiwanese tourists, Malaysia’s beautiful islands and delicious food are still the main attractions for them.

In 2013, the total outbound market from Taiwan was 11,052,908. Malaysia received 286,266 Taiwanese tourists. However, from January to August 2014, arrivals from Taiwan recorded a decline of 0.2% compared to the same period last year.

One of the main reasons for the drop was the concern for safety, especially in Sabah after the kidnapping incidents. Besides that, there are only 65 direct flights from Taiwan to Malaysia compared to Singapore, which has 75 direct flights from Taiwan.

The Director of Tourism Malaysia Taiwan Ahmad Faisal and his team are planning to have more charter flights from Taiwan to Malaysia for 2015, in line with the Malaysia Year of Festivals (MyFEST). In 2015, there will be at least 25 charter flights programme to Malaysia. In addition, Ahmad Faisal is also assisting Tiger Air Taiwan to develop direct flights from Taipei to Kota Kinabalu.

During the Taipei ITF, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng also held several discussions with Taiwan Visitors Association to develop strategies to instil further confidence in Malaysia as a tourist destination.

Among the main strategies to boost arrivals from the Taiwanese market in 2015 include student tourism, meeting-incentive tourism, collaboration with airlines for direct flights to Malaysia and conducting more training for front-liners of tour operators.

Besides that, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng also announced to the Taiwanese market that 2015 will be the Malaysia Year of Festivals. Many new tour packages will be developed to celebrate this exciting campaign and boost arrivals from Taiwan in 2015.

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