People, Travel

Iran New Destination for Malaysian Tourists

Iran New Destination for Malaysian TouristsIran New Destination for Malaysian Tourists

The number of Malays traveling to Iran every year pales in comparison with over 70,000 Iranians who travel to the Southeast Asian country annually.

However, Malaysia’s tourism authorities have now targeted Iran as a new tourist destination, IRNA reported.

Phua Tai Neng, chief executive officer of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, told the press on Wednesday that Iran, Indonesia and Mexico are among new destinations for Malay travelers.

Speaking about MATTA Fair 2015, the Malaysian official said the fair will be held from September 4 to 6 at Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur. He did not say which countries were expected to participate.

Some Iranian companies participated in the fair last year to promote Iran’s profile in the country and help attract tourists.

In 2014, Iran was the second largest source of tourists to Malaysia with 72,264 travelers, generating about $160 million in revenues for Southeast Asia’s third largest economy.  In 2013, a meager 1,200 tourists from Malaysia visited Iran.

Due to the strong presence of Muslims in Malaysia, Iranian tourism officials are eager to strengthen tourism ties with the country and help boost halal tourism sector.

Iran’s chargé d’affaires to Kuala Lumpur, Majid Saffar, said bolstering tourism ties with Malaysia is a priority for Iran.

Saffar hoped that Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization will play an active role in introducing the country’s attractions and tourism potential to Malaysians in the near future.

Iran’s national airline, Iran Air, announced a while ago that it would facilitate travel to Iran for Malaysians by offering cheaper fares than rival airlines to help boost Iran’s tourism sector.