Nepal successfully participated in the latest edition of the MATTA Fair held at Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur from March 15-17, 2019. The fair was led by the Nepal Tourism Board in coordination with 8 companies from the private sector tourism industry of Nepal. The fair provided an ideal platform for the promotion of Nepal as an “exotic holiday destination for lifetime experiences” among the consumers of the Malaysia market, with fresh communication about Nepal as a destination from NTB and offer of attractive and customized tour packages from the private sector.
The Nepal Pavilion was a fusion of tradition and modern façade with wood stupa architecture as a central highlight adorned by a decorative replica of Taleju Bell on the left-hand side, and an unobtrusive layout of colorful photographs displaying tourism products of the destination on the back wall. Promotional items including brochures, posters, and souvenirs were distributed from Nepal Pavilion, and visuals showcasing Nepal’s tourism products were played to give the potential travelers a glimpse of the Nepal experience.
Visitors included potential travelers from Malaysia, Malaysian and international tour operators and Non-Resident Nepalis based in Malaysia. Inquiries from visitors varied from the best places to visit in Nepal to the best season, trekking/hiking possibilities, visa, access, Halal services etc. Nepal Pavilion was also visited by His Excellency Ambassador of Nepal to Malaysia Mr. Udaya Raj Pandey and other officials from the Embassy, who interacted with participants.
Private sector participants expressed satisfaction with the connections made with potential customers at the B to C mega event. “An integrated and well-planned promotional approach must be followed for best use of the platform, as the prospects of quality tourism from Malaysia is very high,” said one of the representatives from the private sector. Malaysians are responsible tourists who do not mind spending on quality and are also well-wishers of Nepal as per previous experience and interactions, as per the participating private sector. Communications regarding the easy access to Nepal and tailor-made packages with impeccable services are essential to inspire the quality conscious Malaysian traveler to visit Nepal, according to them.
Tourist arrival from this high-value, short-haul market is growing steadily over the years with increasing frequency of connectivity in the Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur sector. As per statistics from the Department of Immigration, tourist arrival numbers from Malaysia increased from 18,284 to 22,770, a whopping 24.5 percent increment from 2017 to 2018. About 1.94 percent of the total tourist arrival to Nepal in 2018 was from Malaysia. The first two months of 2019 have also seen a rise in the Malaysian tourist arrival. With Malaysian outbound tourism figures estimated to reach more than 14 million by 2021, the market looks promising in every aspect. Flights between Kathmandu and Kuala Lumpur are carried on by Nepal Airlines, Himalaya Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, and Malindo Air.
MATTA Fair is Malaysia’s premier extravaganza providing global exposure and business opportunities to reach out to the country’s holiday goers. The MATTA Fair occupied a total of 29 thousand sq. a meter comprising of Halls 1 to 5, 1 M and Linkway, where the Nepal Pavilion was in Hall 1 near other South East Asian destinations like Thailand, Korea, and Japan. The fair provided visitors exclusive offers and travel options.
More than a 100 thousand people from Malaysia, ASEAN countries and other countries visited the fair which showcased over 270 exhibitors that included airlines, hotels, serviced apartments, rail operators, car rentals, online booking companies, credit/ company cards, business travel agents, air charter, airports and any more are being provided through this event, in business services industry. The show included live indigenous cultural performances, live multi-national cultural performances, buyers’ contest, and other contests/ redemptions. The organizer of the show is the Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents.