KUALA LUMPUR: Johor, with its pristine islands, rich heritage and world class theme parks, has been crowned "Malaysia's Favourite Destination" at the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair September 2019.
The southern state has seen an increasing arrival of domestic and foreign tourists from Singapore, China, India, Australia and United Kingdom among others, said MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang.
"Based on the promotions I have seen, I am pleased to see places beyond the usual favourites and lesser known places being promoted.
"Visitors can also look forward to a variety of 20 different exciting destinations at the Johor Pavillion," he said at the official opening ceremony of the nation's largest travel fair at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here Saturday (Sept 7).
Desaru Coast and Legoland Malaysia, both located in Johor, were also named as Malaysia's Favourite Theme Park, said Tan, who also encouraged Malaysians to travel locally in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020.
Meanwhile, Taiwan was chosen as "Asia's Favourite Destination", with choice destinations promoted through the Salam Taiwan campaign for Muslim-friendly holidays.
"There is also the Taiwan Small Town Ramble campaign, which highlights 40 villages and towns that showcase the unique characteristics of Taiwan," said Tan.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal said that Johor, which will launch the Visit Johor Year 2020 soon, has taken the largest number of booths at the MATTA Fair September 2019.
"This will allow Tourism Johor to showcase Johor's rich heritage and culture such as zapin performances, pristine islands and beaches, jungles and wildlife, shopping malls, luxury hotels and theme parks.
"Coming from Johor, I can confirm that my state has much to offer and we are very proud that Johor has been selected as Malaysia's Favourite Destination for this year, it is an honour for the state government," said Sahruddin in his speech.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the recently launched Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign was an opportunity to reach the targeted 30 million tourist arrivals.
To boost the number of tourists, Tourism Malaysia has launched initiatives such as strengthening the flight connectivity from high yield markets such as Asean, China, India, United Kingdom and Germany to Malaysia.
"We are focusing on digital marketing to promote Malaysia as the main destination for leisure and business.
"We are also cooperating with agencies and airlines with a wide range of flight routes in order to boost tourist arrivals for the European and United States markets," he said.
Happening at the PWTC, this 48th edition of MATTA Fair is by far the largest since it started in 1991, featuring 1,396 booths featuring 292 travel companies and tourism organisations.
The three-day event spans across 29,000sq m of exhibition space, occupying seven halls.
MATTA Fair September 2019 will be held from Sept 6 to 8 at the PWTC.
The fair is open from 10am to 9pm.
Admission is RM4 per person and free for children aged below 12.
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