Tourism Malaysia demonstrates data-driven success

Thursday, November 9, 2023


Tourism Malaysia, showcased its remarkable achievements in leveraging data to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and redefine the tourism landscape at the ForwardKeys event during the World Travel Market 2023.

It is the leading authority in travel and tourism.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof, Senior Director of AERO at Tourism Malaysia, emphasised the pivotal role of data in charting the course for Malaysia’s tourism revival.

Data has been our guiding light during these challenging times, he said.

It has been instrumental in not only assessing the readiness for the reopening of tourism but also in shaping our marketing strategies in response to evolving traveller preferences.

Key Messages:

Pandemic Recovery through Data: Mr. Yusof highlighted how data-driven insights were crucial in determining the readiness to reopen tourism activities after the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Surveys involving the domestic population provided valuable information that shaped guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

The surveys revealed a high demand for domestic travel, leading to the staged reopening of tourism activities.

For international markets, surveys with overseas tourism stakeholders informed the establishment of travel bubbles and the eventual reopening of international borders on April 1, 2022.

Data-Driven Marketing: The data collected during the pandemic became the cornerstone of Tourism Malaysia’s marketing efforts.

It played a pivotal role in developing new marketing narratives for both domestic and international markets.

This data was also instrumental in redefining services and product offerings within the tourism sector.

Identifying New Markets: Mr. Yusof underscored the importance of data partnerships with various government agencies and organisations, such as the Department of Statistics, Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM), Immigration, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economics (KE), academic institutions, and international bodies.

This collaboration allowed Tourism Malaysia to gather comprehensive data and studies relevant to the tourism industry, including air connectivity data provided by ForwardKeys.

Emerging Travel Trends: Tourism Malaysia actively monitors travel trends, which have shifted considerably post-pandemic.

Smaller group travel, self-planned trips, and a desire for authentic local experiences have gained prominence.

Travellers are exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and immersing themselves in local cultures and traditions.

Tourism Malaysia’s participation at the ForwardKeys event exemplifies Malaysia’s resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

The agency continues to be at the forefront of the global tourism industry, offering unique and authentic experiences to travellers.

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