NEW YORK: Tourism Malaysia is making a strong pitch for the country to be a destination of North American travelers at the New York Times Travel Show from Jan 27-29.
Its vice-president in New York, Ahmad Johanif Mohd Ali said Tourism Malaysia would present Malaysia as an attractive destination, highlighting three major attractions – culture, adventure and nature (CAN).
The show is the most important trade show for the travel and tourism industry in North America.
Unlike other travel shows in the region, which are highly specialized in certain segments of the tourism industry, the show attracts a large turnout of the trade and consumers.
“We will bring Malaysian costumes at the show and encourage visitors to try them out and pose for our Facebook,” Johanif said here yesterday.
Tourism Malaysia will use the colorful costumes worn in Sabah and Sarawak, among others, to catch the attention of tourists.
Johanif is a participant at a panel on travel and tourism, and will speak on Malaysia as a CAN destination.
“We have been sending our mails to invite customers to visit our stand and also our website www.malaysia.travel which provides extensive tourism-related information,” he said.
In the first eight months of 2016, tourist arrivals in Malaysia from the United States declined to 149,696, down 7.9% from 162,544 in the corresponding period of 2015.
Tourism Malaysia in New York believes that the depreciation of the ringgit against the US dollar has created a favorable climate for tourism from the United States because it is making visits cheap as never before.
“Based on the feedback we have received, Americans like Malaysia because of its people who are considered to be very friendly.
“Americans have been saying that Malaysians love smiling. Another plus point is that they find it easy to travel within Malaysia because most of us speak English and the signs on the road are also in English,” he said.
Johanif said Malaysian food was also very popular.
Indeed, McCormick and Company, the US spice company, has listed Malaysian food in its 2016 Flavour Forecast as one of the popular cuisines in the United States. — Bernama