Turkish tourists visiting Malaysia rises, while Batik Air launches new route to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport

Turkish tourist arrivals into Malaysia rise

Turkish tourist arrivals into Malaysia from January to November 2023 experienced an increase of 10.8% or 15,623 visitors. This rise is in comparison to the 14,096 tourists recorded during the same period in 2019.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s (Motac) Secretary General, Datuk Roslan Abdul Rahman, highlighted this growth as a testament to Motac’s effective campaigns. These initiatives have been aimed at promoting Malaysia as a premier destination for international travelers.

Roslan provided insights into the comparison with 2019 figures, attributing it to 2019 being the year before the Covid-19 pandemic impacted global travel. He also noted that the data for 2023 is yet to be fully analyzed and presented to the Cabinet.

Looking ahead, Roslan expressed optimism for 2024, with plans to launch various campaigns. The goal is to further enhance Malaysia’s status as a key tourism hub.

This announcement was made during a press briefing that followed the welcoming ceremony for Batik Air’s first flight from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. The ceremony took place at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Terminal 1.

The arrival of Batik Air was celebrated with a traditional water cannon salute and a lion dance performance, marking the occasion. The cultural display underscored the warm reception for passengers as they disembarked.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing personally welcomed approximately 90 tourists. He distributed souvenirs as a gesture of appreciation for choosing Malaysia as their travel destination.

The initiation of the Kuala Lumpur-Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen route by Batik Air was supported by a significant investment.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced on August 6 that Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd (MAHB) committed to investing £200 million (approximately RM1.1 billion) in the Istanbul airport.

The continuous efforts to strengthen tourism ties between Malaysia and Turkey (Turkiye) reflect the mutual benefits and shared interests of both nations.

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