Malaysia Seeks Expanding Tourism Ties With Iran
TEHRAN (Iran News) Speaking in a press conference which was held at Espinas Hotel of Tehran on the sidelines of introducing new tourist attractions of Malaysia, Director of Tourism Malaysia in the Middle East Ms. Rosnah Mustafah touched upon the advantages of tourism attractions in Malaysia comparing to its neighboring states.
She said that during the pandemic that the borders were closed, Malaysia improved its tourist attractions and now tourists from many countries can enjoy these attractions. She reiterated that Malaysia is a multicultural country and tourists who like this type of country can visit Malaysia, adding that by the way Malaysia is rich in beautiful natural sceneries and also other man-made attractions. She noted that Tourism Malaysia has put on its agenda expansion of flights between Iran and Malaysia and Air Arabia is one of airlines which have flights to Kuala Lumpur.
She said that the second biggest tower of the world is in Malaysia, adding that the Genting Highlands as one of the biggest tourist attraction has been renovated during the pandemic and it is now ready to tourists especially from Iran.
She added that in 2022, Malaysia hosted some 9 million tourists and now the country is working to increase the number of visiting tourists to the pre-pandemic level.
She reiterated that Malaysia, through promotion, tries to increase the number of visiting tourists to 15.6m with annual earnings of 47.6b ringgits.
She noted Iranians have been one of the major visitors of Malaysia as the number of Iranian visitors to Malaysia hit 46559 in 2019 before the pandemic. She added that Malaysian Government has allocated 200m ringgits in the 2023 budget for improving its tourism through promotion and improving infrastructures to attract more foreign tourists.
Ms. Mustafah is leading Malaysian delegation attending the international Tehran Tourism Exhibition, as Tourism Malaysia, along with six group of tourism industry activists of Malaysia, is promoting Malaysia’s tourism attractions in this 4-day.
Meanwhile in the presser, Ambassador of Malaysia to Iran Mr. Khair Omar briefed the participants in the presser of his programs for broadening tourism cooperation between the two countries especially in the post-pandemic era.
He said that after the pandemic, everything is getting normal and the pandemic era has been a good time for study how to improve tourism and bringing back it to the pre-pandemic era. He went on to say that Iran and Malaysia have good relations and both countries know each other well. He stressed that in the past, the number of Iranians in Malaysia reached tens of thousands but the figure has declined due to different reasons and now Malaysia is working to increase the number of Iranian visitors to more than 100,000 per year.
Mr. Omar noted that his role is to broaden tourism between the two countries either bringing tourists from Malaysia to Iran or encouraging Iranians to visit Malaysia. She added that Iranians need no visas for the14-day stay in Malaysia and they need to get visas for staying 60 days and the embassy eases visa process for them. He reiterated that the embassy has programs to boost tourism cooperation between Iran and Malaysia and said he seeks cooperation and help of the media.
Then Chairman of Iran Travel Agencies Mr. Hormatollah Rafiei said that there are several flights to Malaysia which can ease travel to Malaysia but they are connected flights and talks are underway for launching more direct flights which will boost tourism between Iran and Malaysia. He added that both sides are working to increase tourism cooperation to the past level that five airlines used to cooperate.
He also reiterated sanctions have no place in tourism because tourism is the turning point in connection of people and it is opposed to any war and Malaysia has been one of the destinations for Iranian tourists which has been affected by the pandemic and it will definitely bounce back to the past level.
Then sales manager of Air Arabia in Iran Mr. Ashkan Shahsavari Shirazi explained the plans of this airline for boosting tourism cooperation between Iran and Malaysia and said that the airline has started its work in Iran 7 months ago and it has flights from Sharjah to three Iranian cities of Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, adding that the airline will increase its flight to Malaysia to three flights per week from late March for Iranians’ new year.
He then explained the advantages of his airline to other airlines serving the passengers.
Meanwhile in the presser, Tourism Malaysia Marketing Manager in Tehran Office Mr. Farhad Jaafari explained more about the programs of Tourism Malaysia for attracting tourists especially from Iran.
Then in meeting with tour operators and travel agencies officials, Malaysian officials introduced the tourism attractions and facilities for Iranian tourists.
Caption: (R to L) Tourism Malaysia Marketing Manager in Tehran Mr. Farhad Jaafari, Chairman of Iran Travel Agencies Mr. Hormatollah Rafiei, Ambassador of Malaysia to Iran Mr. Khair Omar, Director of Tourism Malaysia in the Middle East Ms. Rosnah Mustafah and sales manager of Air Arabia in Iran Mr. Ashkan Shahsavari Shirazi attend a press conference at Espinas Hotel of Tehran on Feb7.