S Puvaneswary, Kuala Lumpur (2009-02-24)

FOLLOWING Tourism Malaysia recent revision of its 2009 tactical to include longhaul markets (TTG Daily News Feb 23), UK agents selling Malaysia have warned of a difficult year ahead with neighbouring ..." />
 
Thursday . June 27 . 2019
         
 
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Malaysia still costs more, say UK agents
 
S Puvaneswary, Kuala Lumpur (2009-02-24)

FOLLOWING Tourism Malaysia recent revision of its 2009 tactical to include longhaul markets (TTG Daily News Feb 23), UK agents selling Malaysia have warned of a difficult year ahead with neighbouring destinations offering more attractive rates.

FarAway Holidays product director, Mr David Oak, pointed out air fares were an issue. He suggested Malaysia Airlines (MAS) reduce its fuel surcharge to make the Heathrow-Kuala Lumpur direct route more attractive, and noted getting to Penang and Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur cost more than getting to Cebu, Phuket, Pattaya, Saigon and Hong Kong.

He added price-sensitive clients were turning to Thailand where hotels were moving high-season rates to low-season levels and giving add-ons such as free room nights. “However, clients wanting to go to Malaysia are trading down if they cannot afford their first choice.”

Another UK agent, Travelmood & Austravel head of land products, Mr Steve Johnson, said forward summer demand for Malaysia is down about 15 per cent compared to last year.

“AirAsia X's starting of the London Stansted-Kuala Lumpur route on March 11 may generate more interest. But Malaysia needs to do more to portray itself as a better value-for-money destination than Thailand.”

Malaysian operator Borneo Eco Tours managing director, Mr Albert Teo, however, does not believe in price cuts as the way forward. He said: “There will be no end to price competition. We should offer something unique. The global slowdown is a good time to improve and upgrade products and services, but if we cut prices, there will be no funds for doing this.”
 
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