Malaysia and Azerbaijan have launched several initiatives and campaigns, at the 26th edition of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM 2019), that will serve to educate and attract a greater number of tourists from the GCC region.
Tourism Malaysia, an organization under the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, announced a joint promotional campaign with Air Arabia that will highlight the introduction of direct daily flights from Sharjah to Kuala Lumpur. The campaign aims to promote the enhanced connectivity between Malaysia and the Middle East in line with the goals of the country’s ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ initiative, which seeks to attract 30 million tourists and around Dh89 billion in tourism receipts by the year 2020. Air Arabia’s direct flights between Sharjah and Kuala Lumpur will start from July 1, 2019; it is the first direct flight from the region by a low-cost carrier.
Datuk Musa Hj. Yosuf, director general of Tourism Malaysia, told Khaleej Times that the Middle East region was very important, as travelers from the region boasted the highest travel spend on their holidays. He also noted that Malaysia and the UAE had a long history when it came to travel, with visitors from both countries frequently flying to the other.
“Recently, we have seen a growth in competition from other destinations such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam,” he said. “However, Malaysia remains a popular name in the travel industry. Visitors from the UAE and the GCC like to come to Malaysia because of its halal friendly offerings, beautiful natural scenery, and vast entertainment options. Right now, we are working on promoting the country on the digital sphere, so that millennials know all about what they can expect from it when they travel.”
Similarly, the Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) has introduced its marketing campaign ‘Take another look’ at the exhibition. As part of its strategy to present a new portrait of the country, enhance its destination value, and double the current in-bound tourism by 2023, ATB launched its global marketing campaign in the UAE to garner interest from tourists across the Middle East region.
Situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Azerbaijan welcomed a record number of in-bound visitors spending more than $2 billion in 2018 – making it one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. In 2018, Azerbaijan welcomed over 200,000 GCC tourists which is a 30 percent increase from the year before. UAE residents are eligible for visa on arrival to Azerbaijan, with the possibility of a one-month extension.
“Azerbaijan has authentic and unique stories that are yet to be unraveled. Our campaign reveals Azerbaijan’s distinctive culture, delectable cuisine, phenomenal shopping experiences, and indulgent health and wellness retreats. As we encourage visitors from the GCC to ‘Take another look’, we are inviting them to take a more in-depth look at Azerbaijan and immerse themselves in truly genuine cultural experiences. Guests will want to dig deeper into the country’s history and rich cultural heritage as they discover pleasant surprises and hidden gems throughout the year,” said Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board.
Originally published on www.khaleejtimes.com