M'sia records 10.8% increase in Turkiye tourist arrivals in 2023 compared to 2019

SEPANG: Tourist arrivals from Turkiye into Malaysia for the period January to November, 2023, showed an increase of 10.8% or 15,623 people compared to 14,096 in the same period in 2019.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Roslan Abdul Rahman said this increase reflects the success of of the Ministry’s campaign to promote Malaysia as an attractive destination for foreign tourists.

“This figure shows a good improvement. Why am I comparing this figure with the 2019 figure…it is because 2019 was the year of the Covid-19 pandemic while the data for 2023 has not been analysed and tabled to the Cabinet yet,” he said.

“God willing, for 2024, we hope to better that (2023) figure, by having various campaigns to promote Malaysia as a major tourism destination.”

Roslan said this to reporters after accompanying Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to the welcoming ceremony of Batik Air’s inaugural flight on the Kuala-Lumpur-Istanbul Sabiha Gocken International Airport (KUL-ISG) route at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Terminal 1 here on Saturday (Feb 10).

At the event, the arrival of the Batik Air aircraft was greeted by a ceremonial water cannon salute as it entered the hangar, while gongs and cymbals accompanied the movements of the lion dance performers as passengers entered the arrival hall.

Tiong welcomed about 90 tourists and handed out souvenirs in appreciation of these tourists choosing Malaysia as their destination of choice.

On Aug 6, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was reported to have said that Batik Air was chosen as the operator for the KUL-ISG route following Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd’s commitment to invest ​​£200mil (RM1.1bil) in the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

Malaysia and Turkiye have had diplomatic relations for six decades since 1964. – Bernama