Tourism Malaysia has announced plans to attract more wedding tourists in 2013. The tourism board aims to attract 780,000 tourists from India this year by highlighting Malaysia’s wedding tourism industry.
A total of 691,271 people visited the South-East Asian country from India last year and director of Tourism Malaysia Amran Abdul Rahman has said he wants to attract more wedding tourists to the county in 2013. "Indians spend lavishly on weddings, especially in the northern region. It is a great market indeed... Spending between RM3 million to RM4 million for weddings is very common,” said Mr Abdul Rahman.
Tourism Malaysia is targeting tourists from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Lucknow, which are all major markets for wedding related tourism. "We started this tourism strategy just four to five years ago and really want to go big on it. The market is so huge that the package could also include chartering a whole aircraft," added Mr Abdul Rahman.
The most popular locations for weddings in Malaysia are Langkawi, Pangkor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital, though few Indian weddings have actually taken place in the country so far. It seems that Malaysia is losing out to its neighbouring country Thailand as more hotels in Thailand are able to meet the demands of couples and facilitate large weddings. "One reason why we receive less weddings in Malaysia compared to Thailand, is that the product owners, namely hoteliers are not ready to host such big weddings."
Arman Abdul Rahman has also said that Tourism Malaysia plans to beef up its campaigns promoting high-end tourism such as spas, eco tourism, golf, and event related tourism including Formula One, Moto GP and fashion festivals.