Inbound agents have welcomed Malaysian tourism and culture minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz’s announcement to set up Tourism Malaysia offices in Kolkata and potentially Amritsar to increase visitors from India’s eastern region.
“Setting up an office in Kolkata is a good idea as it is the gateway from East India to Malaysia,” said Adam Kamal, secretary general of Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association.
Tourism Malaysia currently has offices in three Indian cities, namely Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
The new offices will enable Tourism Malaysia to tap the swelling ranks of middle-class travellers in Kolkata and Amritsar, noted Arokia Das, senior manager at Luxury Tours Malaysia.
“There should be full-fledged Tourism Malaysia offices in major metros like Hyderabad and Bengaluru and smaller offices in second-tier cities. We’ve got to get Malaysia into everybody’s minds. There should also be more carriers between Malaysia and second-tier cities in India,” he urged.
With 188 flights weekly providing 35,915 seats between Malaysia and India, air connectivity between the two countries can be improved still, agents pointed out.
Adam said: “Malaysia Airlines should also open new routes between Malaysia and India as it did with China recently. It is a good way of attracting more tourists, and will also complement the e-visa facility introduced in April 2016 for Indians residing in India.”