TEHRAN (Iran News) – A delegation from Malaysian tourism industry activists led by Director General of Tourism Malaysia Dato Zainuddin Abdul Wahab on Saturday met Iranian tourism industry activists and exchanged views on boosting cooperation in the field of tourism between the two countries.
After meeting with some officials of Iranian travel agencies as hotel officials, the Malaysian officials attended a press conference to brief the media on the goals of this visit to Tehran.
Mr. Abdul Wahab first briefed the reporters of the current tourism condition in Malaysia and said Malaysia reopened its border to tourists on May 1 and now the country is ready to host tourists from every country. He said that the pandemic affected tourism industry in Malaysia and according to the prediction of the UNWTO, it will take two or three years Malaysian tourism industry to return to the pre-pandemic condition in 2019.
He went on to say that during the pandemic and closure of the borders, Malaysia worked hard to improve the infrastructures for attracting more tourists and the country has earmarked over 8.6b ringgit credit for tourism infrastructures for attracting 2m tourists by the yearend.
He said that during this period, Malaysia has constructed or renovated its tourist resorts and parks in order that the country can compete in tourism with other countries.
On cooperation with Iran on tourism, Abdul Wahab reiterated that Iran is one of the important markets in the Middle East for Malaysia and his country has focused on Iranian families and his delegation has talked with Iranian travel agencies.
He went on to say that Malaysia for some years due to the pandemic and other problems had lost Iran’s market but Malaysia is determined to provide suitable condition for return of Iranian tourists to Malaysia and it is in talks with Iranian tour operators and travel agencies. He invited media and reporters to help the condition to return to the pre-pandemic era.
He reiterated that Iran is important for Malaysia and for this reason this country is the first destination for the delegation for talks, noting that Malaysia is cheaper than countries like Singapore.
Then Senior Director at International Promotion Division Asia/Africa of Tourism Malaysia Mr. Manoharan Periasamy said that Tourism Malaysia has signed agreements with Emirates and Qatar airways for increasing flights to Malaysia and it will help tourists from Iran and other West Asian countries to easily travel to Malaysia. He reiterated that the goal of Tourism Malaysia is to offer best and quality services with the lowest cost.
He said Malaysia is one of the best countries in terms of transportation for tourists as the visitors can have access to their tourist attractions in the shortest time.
Meanwhile Charge d’Affaires of Malaysia in Tehran Mr. Nizam Halimi said that the embassy tries to encourage Malaysian tourists to come to Iran but encouragement is not by itself enough and Iran like Malaysia should improve its tourism infrastructures in the international levels.
He said Iran is a beautiful country with four seasons and many Malaysians inquire for visiting the country and the embassy helps them.
On trade between the two countries, he said both countries have worked hard to increase their trade volume and their trade was some $1b in 2020. He also invited Iranians to attend an exhibition on halal products which is to be held in Malaysia.
Meanwhile Abdul Wahab reiterated that Tourism Malaysia has plans in Iran for promoting tourism of his country and called on the media for promotion.
Meanwhile Chairman of Iran Travel Agencies Association Mr. Hormatollah Rafiei welcomed efforts to cooperate in tourism between Iran and Malaysia and said the flight between Iran and Malaysia is the main hurdle for boosting tourism but he is sure Iranians will choose Malaysia as their tourist destination. He reiterated that there are still many people who like to visit Malaysia and both countries should start joint promotional programs. He also urged Malaysia officials to encourage their nationals to visit Iran and it will encourage the airlines to increase flights between the two states.
After the press conference and in a meeting, some of Malaysian tourism activists and hotel and resorts representatives had brief presentations about the services that they can provide for visitors.
CAPTION: (From Left) Hormatollah Rafiei, Zainuddin Abdul Wahab, Manoharan Periasamy, Nizam Halimi and Marketing Manager of Tourism Malaysia in Iran Mr. Farhad Jafari are seen at the press conference