SPRING has come, and the International Travel & Tour (MITT) Trade Show in Moscow became the centre of attention of Muscovites who wanted to spend their summer holidays in exotic countries, which include Malaysia.

The 29th show ran from March 16 to 18 at the Crocus International Exhibition Centre. Tourism Malaysia took part in it.

To me, Malaysia is a paradise for tourists: eternal summer, azure skies, coral reefs, fabulous beaches and rich culture.

MITT is an annual international travel and hospitality fair in Moscow and has been the largest travel and tourism fair in Russia since 1994.

It enables exhibitors to present their products to a wide audience and increase their sales volume.

Visitors can meet travel agencies and tour operators from Russia and other countries.

Adventure tourism, hotel and accommodation, business travel, transport services, and specialised tourism topics were presented at the fair.

The fair offers a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues and customers and to get a feel for the Russian travel market with the participation of more than 50 countries.

This year, under the Tourism Malaysia booth, there were five tour operators (Malaysian- and Russia-based companies) and two hotels led by Jeffri Munir, Tourism Malaysia director at the Moscow office. The booth's campaign slogan was "Soul of Malaysia".

Johan Ariff, charge d'affaires at the Malaysian embassy who officiated the Malaysian booth, said: "MITT continues to be one of the best platforms for Malaysian tourism players to meet Russian and CIS outbound agents and airlines.

"We get to share information on Malaysia's tourism products and new tourist attractions to revive the tourism industry."

He said Malaysia's islands and beaches, ecotourism destinations and community-based tourism were of high interest to the Russian market.

In December 2022, Malaysia recorded 11,125 Russian tourist arrivals, which is a 42.1 per cent growth compared with 7,828 arrivals in December 2019.

In total, Malaysia welcomed 33,003 Russian tourists in 2022, which generated about RM152.47 million in tourist revenue.

With enhanced air connectivity and promotional efforts in 2023, Tourism Malaysia, said Jeffri, was optimistic that it would see an exponential growth from the Russian market with an initial target of 28,000 tourists.

The Malaysian booth enjoyed special attention among Muscovites and won the Outstanding Country Presentation Award by the organiser to recognise the hard-working and continuous efforts to promote and sell Malaysia to Russian tourists.

Dr Victor A. Pogadaev

Former Universiti Malaya lecturer

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

2023-03-26T16:21:23Z dg43tfdfdgfd