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Malaysia turns to Middle Eastern millennial and Gen Z tourists for tourism revival

Malaysia surpassed its initial target of two million incoming tourist arrivals in June

Malaysia has been ranked as a top Muslim travel destination since 2015 by the Global Muslim Travel Index. Syariff Hidayatullah/Shutterstock

Malay Mail reported that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) is planning to revise its target of international visitor arrivals. Currently, the target is at 4.5 million, but this can be easily surpassed, with most of the tourists coming from China, which has a large Muslim population, according to Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri. 

Malaysia surpassed its initial target of two million incoming tourist arrivals in June and set a new target of 4.5 million the same month, with a revenue of USD2.5 billion. 

She said that this could also be attributed to Malaysia having attracted foreign tourists through its holistic Muslim-friendly tour packages offered by industry players.

More: Malaysia welcomes more than 2.3 million international travellers in June

“With our Muslim-friendly hospitality facilities, it will definitely help increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals to the country,” she told reporters after the unveiling of Mardiyyah Hotel and Suites.

When she talked to Arab News, she said that millennial and Gen Z tourists were the most influential groups of Muslim travellers, and that they have the potential to be key drivers of the future of Malaysia’s travel sector.

Malaysia has been ranked as a top Muslim travel destination since 2015 by the Global Muslim Travel Index. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Malaysia welcomed around 400,000 Middle Eastern visitors in 2019. Visitors from Saudi Arabia contributed to a quarter of the visits.

“It is observed that Muslim travelers, including (from the) Middle East traveller market, now have a more sophisticated need for spiritually fulfiling and transformative travel experiences that could enrich their lives,” Shukri said. “Activities like volunteering and socializing with the destination’s community at local festivals, for example, can create a valuable memory that elevates their travel experience,” she added.

Feedback from the Arabian Travel Market, a four-day tourism event in Dubai, was beyond what was expected as USD7.8 million in sales were generated throughout the event. Shukri said that this could be out of the curiosity of industry players from the Middle East in Malaysia’s Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition.

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].

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