Malaysia forecasts ‘slow travel’ as growing trend next year, says deputy minister

Tourists snorkel in the waters of Pulau Payar in Langkawi. Pulau Payar is one of three marine parks popular with tourists, the other two being in Terengganu and Pahang. — Bernama pic
Tourists snorkel in the waters of Pulau Payar in Langkawi. Pulau Payar is one of three marine parks popular with tourists, the other two being in Terengganu and Pahang. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — Malaysia is projecting ‘slow travel’ to emerge as the leading travel trend in 2020, growing by 20 per cent from previous years.

‘Slow travel’ trend emphasises on experience as opposed to the destination. It is about relaxing and taking the time to travel.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said Malaysia’s abundance of natural and cultural heritage is an invaluable asset towards capturing that interest and growth in the Asian region.

“After the rise of free, independent and solo travellers, the leading travel trend for 2020 is expected to be ‘slow travel’ and according to Skyscanner, the highest percentage of Asian travellers who yearn for slow travel, or longer getaways in 2020 are South Koreans (31 per cent), Hong Kongers (29 per cent), Taiwanese (28 per cent), and Japanese (27 per cent), serving as a counterpoint to the fast-paced lifestyle in these Asian cities.

“The report also indicates a global rise of interest in destinations within Asia over Europe in 2020, with over 75 per cent of preferred destinations located in this region,” he said at the Tourism Malaysia Media and Industry Appreciation Dinner at Glasshouse in Seputeh, here today.

He said the report also indicated a global rise of interest in destinations within Asia over Europe in 2020, with over 75 per cent of preferred destinations located in this region.

In fact, data insights from global travel-tech giant Amadeus indicate that the highest growth in online searches for travel to Malaysia is from Korea, Indonesia, China, Thailand, and Singapore.

Meanwhile, the USA and the UK are also at the top of the list in terms of volume of searches, at fourth and fifth-largest markets respectively, after China, Korea, and Singapore.

In his speech, Muhammad Bakhtiar also said the ministry was planning to kick off the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM 2020) campaign in a big way and invited all media to take part in welcoming the New Year and VM2020 celebration, which will jointly take place at Merdeka Square on December 31. — Bernama

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