(MENAFN – Bangladesh Monitor) Dhaka: A total of 150,054 Bangladeshis travelled to Malaysia in 2018, which was 34.2 per cent over the previous year’s figures. This year the target is to welcome 154,600 Bangladeshis and 165,000 next year.
Razaidi Abd Rahim, Deputy Director, Inter-national Marke-ting Division (South Asia), Tourism Malay-sia said this while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor on the sidelines of NOVOAIR Dhaka Travel Mart 2019 at Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka in the city.
Razaidi Abd Rahim said, ‘We want to cater to more tourists from Bangladesh. That is why we are here at NOVOAIR DTM 2019. The connectivity between the two countries is very good- six airlines operate 61 flights offering 11,550 seats a week’.
Besides Bangladeshis’ favourite places like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Genting Highlands, we want them to explore new destinations in Malaysia like Johor and Tioman Islands.
As Bangladeshis prefer Malaysia, Razaidi Abd Rahim said they are a tourist friendly country. Bangladeshis consider Malaysia to be a safe place. Both are Muslim countries. ‘They like our food as it (food of the two countries) is almost the same.’
He said majority of the Bangladeshis visiting Malaysia were genuine travellers. Labour traffic was less than one per cent. Promoting family holidays was Tourism Malaysia’s aim, also.
People from Bangladesh are not only travelling to Malaysia, they also prefer it as their second home. They are among the top three in Malaysia My 2nd Home (MM2H) programme, Razaidi Abd Rahim said.
Besides tour and MM2H operators, present at the Malaysia pavilion was Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).
Mohd Farid Azuan Bin Edroh, Director, Develop-mental and Local Market, Commercial Marketing, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council said, ‘Though we work in this country with our trusted partners GD Assist and Nuvista, we are here to promote Malaysia as an ideal country for healthcare at a competitive cost.’
The two organisations help patients who want to be treated in Malaysia in terms of hospital appointments, visa, flights as well as accommodation arrangements.
He said 5,100 Bangladeshis travelled to Malaysia in 2017 exclusively for treatment, which rose to 5700 in 2018 and he hoped for a substantial increase this year because of their promotions here at NOVOAIR DTM 2019.
He said most of the patients went for cardiac, orthopaedic, IVF (fertility) treatment as well as regular health checkups.
Mohd Farid Azuan Bin Edroh said, ‘We offer end-to-end service – once the patient touches down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, MHTC staffers meet and greet him/her, and while s/he relaxes in the airport lounge, we take care of the rest – immigration and other formalities – before taking him or her to the hospital of their choice. They are treated like VIPs.’
‘We have 76 top-rated hospitals across Malaysia under our umbrella.’
When cost of treatment was mentioned, he said the cost was more competitive than Singapore or Thailand.
When asked about quality, the MHTC Director pointed to the picture of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on the cover of “Global Health and Travel” magazine. He did not go abroad for treatment. He underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery – he had it done at Malaysia’s National Heart Institute, Mohd Farid Azuan Bin Edroh concluded.
Tourism Malaysia’s mission is to market Malaysia as a destination of excellence and make the tourism industry a major contributor to the socio-economic development of the nation.
With the inception of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism in 1987, the Tourist Development Corporation of Malaysia (TDC) was moved to the new ministry and became the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) which is popularly known as Tourism Malaysia.