It’s business as usual for Tourism Malaysia at ITB Berlin – the world’s biggest tourism trade fair – as it does tourism promotions. This year, however, Malaysia bears the honour of being official partner country. The title marks a significant milestone leading up to the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign.
As official partner country, Malaysia will be given prominence at the event that has annually attracted 100,000 visitors from all over the world. Taking place from March 6 to 10, ITB Berlin will feature 136 participants representing 83 organisations from Malaysia.
This year’s delegation comprised 11 state tourism boards, 32 tour operators, 30 hotels and resorts, two airlines, four tourism service providers and four tourism-related agencies. The group is led by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
In a statement, Mohamaddin said the trade is a platform to showcase Malaysia’s cultural elements and tourism products.
““We want to show that Malaysia is a beautiful and culturally diverse country with many fascinating tourist attractions. We are a peaceful nation and we welcome tourists from all over the world to enjoy an affordable and value-for-money holiday in Malaysia,” he said.
Visitors to the Malaysia Pavilion will be greeted by an arresting design that reflects ancient Terengganu architecture. Mini cultural performances will also be showcased at the pavilion and other venues at the event.
This year, Malaysia brought along the Sarawak Ring Ladies, who wear copper coils on their forearms and calves as part of their traditional beauty routine. There is also a special exhibition of Sarawak scarves called keringkam. These are hand-embroidered scarves made using gold thread and is an important heirloom legacy.
Visitors will get to see these treasured headgear and other ornaments that are rarely exhibited.
In addition, the Mah Meri natives of Selangor will show their skills in stone and woodcarving craftsmanship.
Of course, no tourism promotions of Malaysia is complete without its glorious food. Guests will have the chance to sample nasi lemak, satay, soto, rendang tok, lempeng and murtabak.
Elsewhere, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council will be promoting Malaysia as an affordable and quality medical tourism destination. Meanwhile, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) will promote Malaysia as a bird-watching paradise and highlight the country’s unique cultural aspects.
Another notable event is the signing of a Memorandum of Joint Collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airports and Condor Airlines. This collaboration is set to increase air accessibility between Germany and Malaysia.
Malaysia is targeting a 30 million tourist turnout and RM100bil tourist receipts in 2020.