MUMBAI: Malaysia, which has declared 2015 as the year of festivals (MyFest 2015), is planning to spend more than USD 5 million on promotions to attract close to 8,00,000 travellers from India to visit the South Asian country this year.
"India has always been an important market for us. It has consistently been one of the top 10 tourist generating markets to the country, and has continuously made significant contributions to our tourist arrivals and tourist receipts," Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Seri Mohamed Abdul Aziz said here.
With 165 direct flights from various destinations in India per week, travel to Malaysia has become very convenient and the country is expecting to welcome close to 800,000 Indian guests this year, he added.
From January-October 2014, Malaysia had registered 6,43,335 Indian tourists, which is a 20.7 per cent increase 5,32,964 over the same period in 2013.
With the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predicting India to be the third fastest generator of travel and tourism demand from 2010-2019 with an annualised growth of 8.2 per cent, promotions to the Indian tourists is high on the agenda, the minister said.
Malaysia will be spending more than USD 5 million on marketing and promotions in India, which will include the tier II and III cities.
The sales mission also aims to strengthen the presence of Malaysia in the South Asian market, and to keep India's travel trade, media and corporate sector updated on the current issues and tourism development in Malaysia, especially during the MYFest campaign, he said.
"We believe that there is a rise in disposable income in the smaller cities, where people are also keen to travel and explore. We want to tap this market by developing new and interesting packages," he added.
Malaysia is focusing on segments like nature, theme parks, destination weddings and Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) in India, especially in the age group between 30-50 years, he said.
An amalgamation of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures, Malaysia's tourism sector continued to be a significant contributor to the country's economy in 2014.
MyFest 2015, is expected to see around 29.4 million tourists visiting the country and generating receipts up to 89 billion ringgit, the minister added.