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By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, Sept 22: Tourism Malaysia has conducted a Business to Business (B2B) session between Indian buyers and Malaysian sellers today at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) in conjunction with the Travel Agents Federation of India (Tafi) Convention 2022.
Simultaneously, the Malaysian Travel Mart was inaugurated by Tourism Malaysia deputy chairman Datuk Seri Dr Anil Jeet Singh Sindhu.
According to a press release, 108 sellers from all over Malaysia participated in attracting potential new clients among more than 450 buyers from India representing more than 240 companies.
Malaysian sellers include 33 travel agents, 17 product owners, 37 hotels and resorts, one airline, seven hospitality-related associations, six State representatives, and seven others.
“I am delighted that more than 100 sellers from Malaysia and more than 400 buyers from India will be participating in this B2B session.
“This is an opportunity for our industry players to network with our Indian counterparts and strengthen our tourism relations while also promoting our latest tourism products and packages.
“Indeed, we hope that these initiatives will help boost Indian tourist arrivals, thereby indirectly benefiting both countries’ tourism industries and economies,” Anil said earlier in his speech.
With the tagline ‘Build Back Better’, the convention discusses sustainability, advanced greening efforts, conservation, and responsible tourism during its sessions.
The Tafi Convention 2022 was held in Kuching for the first time in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), and Business Events (BE) Sarawak from Sept 20 to Sept 23, with an expected attendance of over 700 Tafi members from India.
Malaysia hosted the Tafi Convention for the third time; the first time was in 1999, and the second time was in 2007.
“Tafi, with a membership of more than 1,400 travel agents, consisting of 70 per cent of outbound travel, is one of India’s premier travel trade associations.
“I believe that this convention will help Tafi members gain new insights and options for their clients for leisure travel, meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), and even weddings to the destination of choice – Sarawak,” Anil mentioned.
In addition, the Indian market contributed 735,309 arrivals (22 per cent) to Malaysia in 2019.
At a press conference, Anil told reporters that he hoped the target percentage of Indian tourists arrivals would reach 40 or 50 per cent this time, noting that this would engage both countries in making the target a reality.
Meanwhile, STB chief executive officer (CEO) Sharzede Salleh Askor explained that Sarawak is targeting four markets for the Indian market, including weddings, filming, MICE, and events.
She also emphasised that the Indian market is a significant market that Sarawak cannot overlook. — DayakDaily