Malaysia: More prosperity through tourism

Following the elections in May the new government continues to ensure that the population at large benefits from the economic boom. Tourism is a key industry providing the country with more jobs and better jobs, and TUI Group is a very important tourism partner. The travel group’s global growth strategy will bring more holidaymakers to the southeast Asian country – and offer attractive travel products to more Malaysians.

Tourist figures only rose by around 5 percent to 26 million between 2010 and 2017. Due to the vast potential for economic development in the tourism sector, the Malaysian government is focusing on driving growth in tourism. TUI Group will play a key supporting role in this respect. Malaysia will be the ITB trade fair’s partner country in 2019.

Tourism generates jobs, growth and prosperity

Malaysia is one of the most economically and politically stable countries in the southeast Asian region. Over recent decades it has evolved very successfully from an agricultural nation to an industrialised nation. The democratic transition of power in May 2018 is also a reflection of the country’s mature and diverse society. Tourism has also had a stabilising effect on the country because, since the Asian crisis at the end of the 1990s, it has been a reliable source of income. Today, the travel industry accounts for around five percent of the country’s GDP and makes an important contribution to employment. It also has considerable potential to generate more prosperity. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, 250,000 new jobs could be created by growth in tourism over the next ten years, with an employment effect for the Malaysian economy as a whole of 650,000 jobs.

TUI is developing destinations

To make this happen Malaysia needs professional travel companies to develop attractive products and market the country as a holiday destination to the rest of the world. The TUI Group, one of Malaysia’s travel partners, was named “Best European Tour Operator” by the Ministry for Tourism at the beginning of the year. As a result, TUI enjoys a very positive relationship with its Malaysian partners and was recently awarded the necessary licenses to develop Malaysia as both a destination and a source market. This involves the TUI Group setting up a larger domestic presence in Malaysia.

TUI’s contribution to tourism development: 

  • Flights. Langkawi is a tropical island paradise. TUI Airlines will be the first European airline to commence direct flight services to Langkawi in December. The Boeing 787 Dreamliners will be flying to the island from three UK airports.
  • Cruise routes. Malaysia is on the routes of all three TUI cruise ship companies – TUI Cruises, Hapag Lloyd Cruises and Marella Cruises. The ships dock at a total of six ports.
  • Home port. Langkawi is the Marella Discovery’s winter-season home port. This means that passengers spend at least one night in Langkawi before they set sail on a cruise to destinations such as Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. This boosts business for local restaurants, retailers and excursion providers.
  • Destination experiences. TUI has recently aquired a majority share in Pacific World Destination East, a company specialised in profesionally developing tourism programs in attractive destinations. Pacific World Malaysia is offering services to cruise ship operators, their guests and international tourists. The business is specialised in meetings&events and developing authentic customer experiences. TUI’s new entity employs more than 50 highly dedicated staff at Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi.

My home town also benefits

Promoting tourism will continue to be a policy priority after the democratic change in government – due to its great contribution to social progress and economic development. For example, the town of Melaka where I grew up used to be known as Sleepy Hollow. Since the 1980s, it has evolved into a booming tourist destination and is now known as the Historical City of Melaka. Tourism has generated employment opportunities, more income for businesses and helped to improve the livelihood of locals. It is great to see how infrastructure, public facilities and services, have improved over the years due to tourism. 

Malaysia welcomes strong partnerships to stimulate tourism. That is why Malaysia has been working closely with TUI for 45 years. In the near future, we will take our relationship to an even higher level with closer collaboration, particularly through the establishment of a TUI office in Malaysia and the new licenses that have been granted to TUI. We look forward to more tourist arrivals from Europe to Malaysia and vice versa. This will encourage cultural exchange and benefit Malaysia, its people and economy. 

H.E. Sarah Albakri Devadason, Ambassador of Malaysia to Germany

Promoting outgoing tourism

On the other side of the coin, Malaysia has a growing middle class with an interest in exploring other regions of the world. The TUI Group has the expertise, as the world’s leading travel company, to offer attractive holidays to Malaysian tourists. Today, 50 percent of the guests at the first Robinson Club on the Maldives are already Asians. TUI is proud to have launched TUI International (Malaysia) SDN.BHD in Kuala Lumpur in 2018 as its first tour operator in South East Asia under the global TUI brand.

Europe is also profiting from the rising number of tourists from Malaysia and it is TUI’s objective to persuade a wider local target audience to travel to global destinations. This will also have a positive impact on local employees and the local economy.


UNESCO World Heritage Site

(1) Kinabalu Park
The national park on the island of Borneo is home to Malaysia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, with a summit height of 4,095 metres, and one of the world’s oldest rain forests with unique biodiversity.

(2) Mulu Park
The main attraction in Mulu Park is the Gunung Mulu, a 2,377 m-high sandstone pinnacle. The 52,864 ha ark also contains a vast cave system that is home to millions of bats.

(3) The historical towns of Malacca and George Town
Malaysia is a country shaped by Malayan, Indian, Chinese and European influences. This rich and diverse cultural heritage is best experienced at the two former trading ports of Malacca and George Town.

(4) Archaeological heritage of the Lenggong Valley 
The archaeological sites lie around 40 km north of Kuala Kangsar and the finds span almost two million years of human history.