Malaysia's tourism industry will have to increasingly rely on traffic from Asia.
Malaysian exhibitors at the recently concluded ITB Asia tourism show of Singapore came out realising that their future will depend, by and large, on tourism traffic from Asia itself. The nucleus of traffic from Asia to most destinations in Asia, including Malaysia, is likely to come from the combined China and India markets or the Chindia region as it is often called.
The 33 Malaysian participants at the Singapore event, an Asian offshoot of the ITB Berlin fair, which is the 'mother of all tourism shows', appeared keen on new opportunities, a good sign suggesting that they were determined to get business.
However, they should also realise that participating in a show alone is not an end in itself. 'It is, generally, important to have a strategic approach while promoting any product or service,' said Martin Buck, a senior executive of Messe Berlin, the organising agency, adding that traffic to Asia would come from Asia itself, a trend that is already discernible.
Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, said that Asia's share in world tourism was already 22% …