FRANKFURT, GERMANY, Feb 22 (Bernama) – As the official Partner Country 2019 at ITB Berlin this year, Malaysia is going all out to woo the Europe market with its amazing and colourful heritage and culture.
H.E. Sarah Nava Rani Al Bakri Devadason, the Ambassador of Malaysia to Germany, said, “I believe Malaysia’s cultural uniqueness is a big draw for the Europe market. As you may know, Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures with influences from Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities, as well as from Europe, Arab and the Malay Archipelago. This has resulted in a mixed yet harmonious legacy that manifests itself in Malaysia’s architecture, clothing, language, cuisine and other aspects. As such, the highlight of our presence at ITB this year will be the cultural aspects that we bring to the show.”
Visitors to the trade show happening from 6-8 March 2019 would have the opportunity to experience Malaysia’s architecture, local food and cultural performances. H.E. Ambassador Sarah Nava Rani said, “We will be bringing in the national cultural troupe to showcase about an hour-long performance during the Opening Gala that reflects the beauty and diversity of Malaysian culture and heritage.”
She added, “Visitors to the Malaysia Pavilion can also get to know the Ring Ladies of Sarawak, so named because of their beauty ritual of wearing copper coiled rings on the forearms and calves respectively. This symbol of beauty is fast disappearing and ITB visitors will be lucky to catch the last remaining Ring Ladies of Sarawak this year.”
Malaysia will also bring 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.
The Malaysia Pavilion at Hall 26A, Stand 117, will also display architectural forms adapted from ancient Malay architecture. Besides being the venue for networking and meetings, it will also hold regular cultural performances throughout the exhibition. Delicious Malaysian cuisine, renowned for its generous use of medicinal spices and herbs, will also be made available for the public to sample.
Malaysia’s presence at ITB this year will see a big delegation comprising of state tourism boards, tour operators, tourism product owners, hoteliers, airlines, tourism service providers and more. At current count, there are a total of 170 participants representing 84 organisations taking part from Malaysia.
The entire delegation will be led by the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi. As well, Datuk Musa Yusof, the Director General of Tourism Malaysia, the agency in charge of tourism promotions, will be there, too.
“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,” she added.
Malaysia is stepping up its promotions this year in preparation of Visit Malaysia 2020, during which the target is to welcome 30 million tourist from around the world and RM100 billion tourist receipts.
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 Air winter 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.