Huge tourism opportunities in Pakistan, Malaysia

Salim Ahmed

Lahore—The dedication and untiring efforts by Malindo Air in making Pakistan a latest destination in its route map will enable both countries not only to boost tourism but will open new vistas of trade and other sectors’ collaboration between the brotherly countries. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Transportation Malaysia Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi. He said one of the core components of the tourism industry is the airline as main mode of transportation for tourists from one country to another. ‘Without any doubt, airlines contribute greatly to the accelerated growth of a country’s tourism,’ he added.
He said that both brotherly countries can benefit from this initiative as many Malaysian Sikh nationals will be more than delighted to visit the sacred places of their religion in Pakistan, similarly the hospitality offered by Pakistan will entice the business community to look into the possibility of enhancing trade relations between the two countries. ‘In Malaysia, tourism industry is deemed as one of the most important economic contributors to the country’s GDP. Tourism is a huge sector of the Malaysian economy, with official Tourism Malaysia’s statistics claim that in 2014 Malaysia attracted 27,437,315 international tourist arrivals, a growth of 6.7% compared to 2013,’ said the minister. ‘Total international tourist receipts for Malaysia increased by 3.9% to RM 60.6 billion ($19 billion) in 2014.
Last year Malaysia recorded 60,000 tourist arrivals from Pakistan,’ he added. Better accessibility, promotions offered by airlines and the wide coverage of Visit Malaysia Year contributed to the increase of tourist arrivals from these markets, said the Minister, adding that collaborations with airlines to organize familiarization trips, effective advertising and promotional campaigns by airlines as well, and trade seminars contributed to the increase of arrivals. “His Excellency Syed Hassan Raza’s presence here signifies the commitment of the government of Pakistan to further develop the tourism industry as one of the major economic contributors to the country,” he said adding that the very positive trend in tourism outlook between our countries is another reflection of our countries’ increasingly closer cooperation and solidarity that has been fostered over the years.
“I am convinced there will be an upsurge of arrivals in Malaysia and Pakistan due to the deployment of this 4X weekly flight by Malindo Air which connects Lahore and Kuala Lumpur. Malindo Air can pave the way for greater progress and development in the tourism industry,” hoped the minister. Chandran Rama Muthy, CEO of Malindo Air, on the occasion said the initiation of operations in Pakistan is yet another historic milestone in short history of Malindo Air. ‘Since our inception in 2012, we have made a rather rapid growth despite being fairly new. Our present fleet strength consists of 16 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft and 11 ATR 72-700 turboprop aircraft,’ he added. The CEO said that Malindo Air operates short and medium haul flights to Malaysian and regional destinations including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Australia and Vietnam. ‘In view of our progressive fleet expansion, we are concurrently looking at extending our network to more cities in southern China and Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Jeddah,’ he added. ‘Malindo Air is a premium airline, providing added values like free baggage allowance, meals, in-flight entertainment system, spacious leather seats, WiFi and roaming calls services on board, we have also introduced Malindo Air’s Executive Lounge as a privilege to our loyal customers in KLIA2,’ he added.
Country Manager Pakistan, Malindo Air, Shakil Aftab Kashmirwala said Pakistan is now the twelfth country that Malindo Air is operating to. ‘Being a full service airline, Malindo Air’s aim is to continuously enhance its services which are both innovative and progressive for the industry,’ he added. ‘Malindo Air will open many doors of opportunities for both the countries while Pakistanis working in Malaysia will also get benefit of this flight operation,’ he said hoping that number of tourists and our presence in the Pakistani market will increase. ‘Effective promotional campaigns as well as trade engagements will certainly help boost tourist arrivals in both the countries for the coming years,’ he added.

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