- Group obtains tourism licences, Malaysia becomes TUI destination and source market
- First direct flights from Europe to Langkawi with TUI’s 787 Dreamliner
- Cruises as growth driver: All TUI cruise lines to call at Malaysian ports
- Langkawi becomes seasonal base port for TUI’s British subsidiary Marella Cruises from the 2018/19 cruise season
TUI Group is strengthening and expanding its presence and operations in Malaysia. The world’s leading tourism group has obtained the necessary licences from the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture in order to develop the country both as a destination and a source market. In the framework of its “TUI 2022” strategy programme, TUI is seeking to tap new growth markets and expand its business in South East Asia, with Malaysia being a crucial partner country. Frank Vahldiek, Director International Partnerships at TUI Group: “Malaysia is not only a beautiful travel destination in Asia, but also offers great potential for our tourism products and services. We are therefore developing the country both as a destination and source market with attractive offerings for Malaysia and Asian customers, increasingly interested in experiencing Western-style holidays in the region, in Europe and all over the world.”
First direct flight from Europe to Langkawi
In order to further expand its presence in Malaysia, TUI will offer direct flights to Langkawi Island for the first time from the forthcoming Winter season. From 20 December 2018, TUI will operate services to Langkawi with its Boeing 787 Dreamliner from three British airports (Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham). This will make TUI the first European airline to operate direct flights to the island.
Cruise companies increasingly calling at Malaysian ports
Moreover, TUI Group’s three cruise lines – TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and TUI’s British subsidiary Marella Cruises – have all included Malaysia in their itineraries. In the 2018/19 Winter season, they will further expand their offerings in Malaysia: Langkawi will be a new seasonal base port for Marella Discovery, and the cruise ship will offer regional itineraries for European customers travelling with the Group from the port. The passengers will spend a night in Langkawi before departing for a 14-day round trip including destinations such as Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Moreover, TUI Cruises will operate its cruise ship Mein Schiff 3, offering larger passenger capacity compared with Mein Schiff 1, on its itineraries from Singapore from the 2018/19 Winter schedule. The number of passengers travelling to Malaysia on its Asia itinerary will therefore continue to rise, exceeding the volume of the past few years. With three Malaysian ports of call – including a home port – (Langkawi, Port Klang and Penang) TUI Group’s cruise companies will be a key growth driver in Malaysia’s maritime tourism segment.
Datuk Rashidi bin Hasbullah, Secretary General at the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture, welcomes TUI Group’s decision to develop and expand Malaysia as a destination and source market: “We are delighted about TUI’s decision to offer flights and cruises from and to Langkawi. The world’s number one tourism company thus strongly increases Malaysia’s visibility in all European source markets. At the same time, this reinforces Malaysia’s outbound market and our position as an international traffic hub and creates value added for our economy. Tourism is an important driver of prosperity and employment in Malaysia. TUI’s investments directly benefit people in Malaysia, as they create new jobs.”