By Tourism Malaysia on March 6, 2019
BERLIN, GERMANY: Malaysia has taken on the title of Official Partner Country to promote the destination’s beautiful culture and colourful nature at this year’s ITB Berlin. The title partnership is timely, too, as Malaysia is preparing for Visit Malaysia 2020, a landmark campaign that’s targeted to bring in 30 million international tourists and approximately £21.63 billion (RM100 billion) in tourist receipts.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Hon. Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, says, “We want to show that Malaysia is a beautiful and culturally diverse country with many fascinating tourist attractions. We are a peaceful nation and we welcome tourists from all over the world to enjoy an affordable and value-for-money holiday in Malaysia.”
He adds, “All these create a conducive environment that encourages not only tourist visits, but also business investments into Malaysia. We hope that our presence at ITB will encourage you to consider Malaysia as your ideal partner for your tourism growth and business expansion and look forward to seeing more tourism investments in Malaysia.”
Malaysia’s participation in ITB Berlin this year sees a total of 136 participants representing 83 organisations taking part from Malaysia, comprising 11 state tourism boards, 32 tour operators, 30 hotels and resorts, two airlines, four tourism service providers and four tourism related agencies. Major players and sponsors are Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Putrajaya Corporation, Selangor, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Condor Airlines and Desaru Coast.
The delegation is led by the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who is accompanied by Dato’ Haslina Abdul Hamid, Deputy Secretary General (Tourism) of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Datuk Musa Yusof, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, the agency in charge of tourism promotions.
“We are deeply grateful to accept the Official ITB Partner Country titleship this year as it entails valuable publicity opportunities globally and gives Malaysia the potential to reach out to key decision makers and top industry players in the region,” the Minister added.
The German market has demonstrated to be a potentially strong market for Malaysia to pursue. In 2018, Malaysia received a total of 128,644 German tourists, representing a 17.1% growth from 2017. Initiatives such as the Condor Airlines winter scheduled charter flights, TUI’s Fly and Drive packages, partnership with ECTAA, live seminar “Dertouristik Campus 2020,” workshops, familiarization trips and other airline and tour operator collaborations had helped to drive up demand for Malaysia last year.
In 2019, Malaysia targets 147,000 tourists from Germany to revive Malaysia’s position as a choice holiday destination particularly from this market.
5 March, 6 pm, City Cube, Hall A, Level 2
Catch the hour-long opening ceremony of ITB Berlin where Malaysia will wow audiences with its “Colours of Malaysia” performance, a vibrant dance showcase of the varied layers, stories and cultures that make up Malaysia. The show opens with a stately royal court performance that will make you feel like a nobility! Performers from Malaysia’s respected Istana Budaya troupe will perform a beautifully-choreographed repertoire that includes aboriginal thanksgiving rituals, traditional martial arts movement, emotive and energetic movements inspired by Indian, Chinese and Arab cultures, and exotic Borneo cultures from Sabah and Sarawak.
5 March, 8 pm, City Cube, Hall B, Level 1
Get a taste of authentic Malaysia at this reception hosted by Malaysia. Malaysian chefs David Tong and Khairul Anuar join us from Ramada Hotel Melaka to delight guests with tantalising cuisine made rich and tasty with the use of local Malaysian herbs and spices. Get ready for an explosion of tastes in your mouth when you try the soto ayam (chicken soup with local herbs and cubed rice); satay (lamb, chicken and beef pieces served on bamboo skewers, dipped in a sweet and spicy peanut sauce); rendang tok (meat pieces slowly simmered in lemongrass, turmeric and other herbs for hours over a slow fire until the meat is utterly tender); and nasi lemak (rice steamed in coconut cream and served with a spicy sambal, considered as a national dish of Malaysia!). Also, don’t miss trying the popular Malaysian drink, teh tarik using Boh Tea, which is premium-quality tea sweetened with sugar and condensed milk, and served with a voluminous frothy top.
6 March, 10 am, Hall 26a, Stand 117
The Malaysia Pavilion will be officiated on this date by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia. It is a chance to meet the Malaysian delegation comprising state tourism boards, tour operators, tourism product owners, hoteliers, airlines, tourism service providers and more. The design concept for this year’s Malaysia Pavilion is inspired by the architectural wonders of traditional Terengganu homes. These homes were traditionally built using cengal, a local and highly-valued hardwood taken from the dense jungle (not an easy feat in the old days as much of the labour was manual, not mechanical). They were also typically constructed without the need for nails; still, with the use of ingenious joinery and wooden pegs, many of these homes still stand in glory. Malaysia pays respects to the skilled craftsmen and housebuilders of yesteryear by adapting the distinctive roof forms of Terengganu homes into this year’s Malaysia Pavilion design. The result is a characteristically unique structure that is recognizably Malaysia.
6 March, 12-1 pm, Hall 4.1.a, Centre Stage
Session 1: Experience Penang 2020:
Speaker: The Hon. Yeah Soon Hin, Minister of Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage
A chance to meet with the Minister of Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage of Penang, Malaysia’s “Pearl of the Orient,” to learn about what this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer. Topics will include arts and culture, food and lifestyle, nature and adventure, medical tourism, education tourism, wedding tourism and MICE.
Session 2: 10 Best Places to Visit in Selangor:
Speaker: YB Datuk Andul Rashid Bin Asari, Chairman Of Standing Committee on Culture and Tourism, Malay Civilization and Heritage of Selangor
Find out what Selangor has to offer to tourists from heritage walks around the royal capital to locating a secret “beach” in the middle of the sea known as “Sky Mirror” to visiting a natural limestone cave right in the city centre.
Session 3: Putrajaya, an Urban Paradise for Creatures Great and Small:
Speaker: Tengku Aina binti Tengku Ismail Shah
The administrative capital city, Putrajaya, is an urban ecotourism destination and home to one of the most unique green spaces in the world with 40% of the area made up of wetlands, lakes, parks and open spaces, creating a perfect balance between development and nature.
6 March, 2-3.15 pm, City Cube, Room M1
The press conference will be led by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia, and Director General of Tourism Malaysia, outlining the destination’s strategic plans, new developments and the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign. There will also be a Memorandum of Joint Cooperation (MoJC) signing ceremony, which sees Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad and Condor Airlines agree to a collaboration to increase air accessibility between Germany and Malaysia. This follows their successful partnership last year which saw winter scheduled charter flights between Germany and Malaysia.
6-10 March, 10 am-6 pm, Malaysia Pavilion, Hall 26A, Stand 117
Sarawak’s Keringkam Exhibition
A special exhibition of Sarawak scarves called “keringkam.” These are hand-embroidered scarves made using gold thread and is an important part of Sarawak heirloom legacy. Visitors will get to see these treasured headgear and other ornaments that have rarely been exhibited.
Meet the Sarawak Ring Ladies
Meet the last remaining “Ring Ladies” of Sarawak who still practice the traditional beauty routine of wearing copper coil rings on their forearms and calves, a tradition they have kept alive since they were as young as 10.
Traditional Dance and Music Performances
The Malaysia Pavilion will come alive with music and dance by talented performers from Malaysia. Their beautiful and colourful costumes, unique songs and traditional instruments, all come together to show you the richness of Malaysian culture and heritage. These dances are traditionally performed at celebrations, to give thanks, or as a welcome ceremony. Also, catch the craftsmanship of the Mah Meri indigenous people of West Malaysia, who are highly skilled in stone and woodcarving.
Taste of Malaysia
Visitors to the Malaysia Pavilion will get to try the Sarawak Layered Cake, a colourfully layered cake that is popular during festive seasons and special occasions. What’s special is the complex layering patterns and motifs that involves patience and creativity to make.
7 March, 10.30 am-11.00 am, Hall 21b
Speaker: Ms. Sherene Azli, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC)
Malaysia has grown to become a globally renowned destination for healthcare at its finest, providing affordable healthcare services to all. Since 2011, Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry has recorded a double digit growth annually and in 2017, more than 1 million healthcare travellers sought treatments in Malaysia. Find out from the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) what makes Malaysia so sought after for quality and affordable health tourism holidays.
7 March, 12 pm, Hall 5.3
Healthcare in Malaysia is internationally recognised with numerous accolades and demonstrated growth performance. Since 2011, Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry has recorded a double-digit growth annually and in 2017 alone, more than 1 million healthcare travellers sought treatments in Malaysia. To maximise impact for global marketing and serve healthcare travellers, public-private partnerships are formed, creating new areas of opportunity and building upon existing service offerings. The Malaysia Health Tourism Council joins with German Medical Wellness Association and Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster for a tri-party press conference on this day. They will….
7 March, 1:30 pm-2:30 pm, Hall 4.1.b, Adventure Stage
Session 1: Cultural Fondue – Authenticity in Diversity
Speaker: Mr. Nigel Wong, Hon. Secretary General, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA)
Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures where past and present collide creating a unique experience that can’t be found in any other region in Asia. Find out what it’s like to engage with Malaysia through experiential travel, and experience its history, people, culture, food and environment.
Session 2: Sarawak, More to Discover
Speaker: Mr. Benedict Jimbau
Sarawak is a beautiful land set against the fascinating backdrop of history and mystery, culture, festivals and food. Explore its gigantic caves 60 million years in the making, orangutans and proboscis monkeys, underwater jungles and towering rainforests, longhouses, idyllic highlands and the acclaimed Rainforest World Music Festival. Watch a cultural performance by Sarawak Ethnic Cultural Troupe, too.
Session 3: Fowl Play
Speaker: Mr. Nigel Wong, Hon. Secretary General, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA)
Malaysia plays host to more than 100 species of migratory birds that fly thousands of kilometres annually to escape the winter or to reach breeding grounds. Malaysia itself is home to more than 1,100 species of birds. Learn more about this birdwatching paradise!