Malaysia. Fancy seeing if for free? Right now travellers to the popular Asian destination are being offered a free bonus side trip to any of its thirteen states and three territories in a bid to boost tourism numbers.
You could loll about on the duty-free island of Langkawi, 30ks off the Malaysian coast, enjoy a spicy curry in Penang, or explore the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque in Johor Bahru, all you have to do is stopover in Malaysia on your way to Europe or the UK to get the free internal flights which are valid for travel until December.
Details were given last night [Thursday 25 August 2022] in Sydney at the Tourism Malaysia Roadshow currently underway across Australia.
Fourteen representatives from tour operators, accommodation and tourism-related services were on hand to share the latest updates on what Malaysia has to offer travellers.
“Malaysia has great scenery from mountains to beaches and world-leading skyscrapers such as Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the beautiful Batu Caves in Selangor, orang-utans and pygmy elephants, and of course, mouth-watering cuisine and great shopping,” said Noor Azlan Abu Bahar, Senior Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysia.
“Since the opening of our borders to international visitors, we have relaxed entry procedures for fully-vaccinated travellers who no longer require quarantine or pre-departure and on-arrival COVID-testing including children aged 17 and below,” said Bakar.
Travel insurance is also not a prerequisite for foreigners and they no longer have to fill out the Traveller’s Card on the country’s contact tracing app, MySejahtera.
“We currently have 121 weekly direct flights from Australia to Malaysia, offering a seat capacity of 31,600, and we are working with airlines to add more services into the country,” he added.
Malaysia Airlines is also very close to pre-COVID schedules says the airline’s Giles Gilbert, Regional Manager, Australia & NZ.
He told LATTE that by 1 December the carrier will be up to 54 flights a week out of Australia, double-daily from Sydney and Melbourne using 290-passenger A330s.
“We’re also very happy to announce that we will be taking delivery of twenty fuel-efficient A330-900NEO jets in the first quarter of 2024 with some dedicated to Australian routes,” Gilbert confirmed.
“I like to think that Malaysia Airlines is an extension of Malaysian culture and I truly believe that we try to bring that on board with our crew who provide a comfortable, good-quality service,” he remarked.
Gilbert noted his airline didn’t have systemic problems that legacy airlines faced.
“We didn’t park our planes in the desert, so that when travel resumed it didn’t take up to six weeks to get them back into service. We were ready to go, and we didn’t sack any of our staff”.
He said that now is a good time to go to Malaysia. “The planes aren’t full, there are plenty of seats, travel is easy, downtown Kuala Lumpur is bustling again, traffic is back on the roads and the welcome mat is out”.
Lead image, from left are: Giles Gilbert, Regional Manager AU/NZ, Malaysia Airlines; Noor Azlan Abu Bahar, Senior Deputy Director, Tourism Malaysia and Tay Shu Lan, Chief Marketing Manager, Sabah Tourism Board.