Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Tourism Malaysia have signed a global partnership agreement to boost inbound tourism to Malaysia by leveraging the airline’s global passenger network.
Under the agreement, Etihad and Tourism Malaysia will put into effect a range of joint marketing activities targeting Malaysia’s leading inbound visitor markets – the UK, US, Europe (Germany, France and Italy), and the Middle East region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait). Research by Tourism Malaysia revealed in 2014 there were more than 1.2 million visits from these key markets, a 10 per cent increase compared to 2013.
The agreement was signed at the Etihad Airways-Alitalia joint pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 this week. “This partnership underlines the long-standing links between Etihad Airways and Malaysia, and will help to create even greater opportunities to increase the growing number of tourists and business travellers flying to the country with us,” said Andrew Ward, vice president marketing, Etihad Airways.
“Malaysia is one of our top destinations, and Etihad Airways has carried more than one million passengers to and from the country since 2007, offering travellers from all around the world the chance to enjoy the many attractions of this beautiful country,” he added.
From promoting the cosmopolitan capital of Kuala Lumpur to the exotic islands of Langkawi and Penang to the stunning Johor Bahru and island of Borneo – Sabah, the campaign will focus on multimedia marketing and familiarisation trips for travel trade and media from around the world to Malaysia. Etihad Airways marketing messages and Malaysia’s ‘Years of Festivals’ campaign will be maximised throughout the partnership and the airline will also benefit from an enhanced presence on Tourism Malaysia’s traditional and digital platforms.
Chong Yoke Har, Deputy Director General (Planning) of Tourism Malaysia, said that Etihad Airways had demonstrated a strong and growing commitment to the Malaysian market since it first commenced services in 2007.
“Now with the new agreement, we can work together on robust tactical campaigns to make Malaysia the top-of-mind destination among Etihad Airways’ extensive customer base. This agreement is an important step towards Malaysia achieving its strategic goal of earning RM168 billion from the targeted 36 million tourist arrivals by 2020,” she said.
Etihad Airways currently flies twice daily between Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur, and offers flights to other regions in Malaysia through its codeshare partner Malaysia Airlines.