Malaysian tourism chiefs underlined how important their near-neighbors in Singapore are to the country’s tourist trade earlier today when rolling out new incentives to try and attract more visitors from across the straits.
Zalizam Zakaria, director of Malaysia Tourism Singapore admitted “Singapore is a very important market for us”.
Singaporeans made up almost 53% of the total number of visitors to the country last year, with 13 million arrivals, and it’s hoped that they can build on that figure this year.
However, this is a tough challenge. Singapore only has a population of 5 million, which means a large number of those coming to Malaysia are repeat visitors. The average Singaporean visits the country 2.5 times a year, but after that they soon run out of places to go.
The east coast states of Terengganu, Pahang and Kelantan for example, are very popular but for a long while were receiving fewer visitors than before. Recent efforts to woo more visitors have paid off however, and now it seems visitor numbers have peaked.
The next step for Malaysian tourist chiefs is to promote central regions of the country, particularly Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor, and to expedite this they are holding a seminar with Singapore tour and travel agents in order to thrash out more affordable tour packages.
These central states will be able to use the opportunity to update Singapore travel operators on the latest happenings in the region and new attractions for tourists to visit. It is hoped that many new travel packages will be added to Singaporean travel itineraries in the near future.