Contributed by Kenny Phang.
In collaboration with Defy Media.
Switzerland Tourism Malaysia hosted a Winter Media Briefing yesterday in Kuala Lumpur. The event not only highlighted the impressive growth in hotel overnight stays in Switzerland from Southeast Asia but also unveiled exciting prospects for Malaysian travelers seeking winter adventures.
Batiste Pilet, Director Southeast Asia Switzerland Tourism, presented the latest figures, revealing an impressive 27% growth in overnight stays in Southeast Asia from January to September 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, pre-Covid. Malaysia and the Philippines emerged as the strongest growing markets, boasting growth rates of 68% and 69%, respectively. Malaysia has now become the third-largest source market in Southeast Asia, contributing 18% to the overall overnight count.
This surge in Malaysian tourism underscores a strong desire to travel long-haul post-pandemic. Pilet emphasized that Switzerland’s visa-free status facilitates easier travel materialization and quicker decision-making. The growth is also notable in individual Malay travelers, prompting Switzerland Tourism to proactively cater to the needs of Muslim travelers. As part of these efforts, the official website, MySwitzerland.com/restaurants, now features a comprehensive listing of Halal restaurants.
Additionally, Switzerland Tourism is organizing a travel trade workshop on November 20 in Kuala Lumpur, connecting Muslim travel agents with 16 tourism suppliers from Switzerland.
With the winter season kicking off in Switzerland, Pilet provided insights on how to fully enjoy the Swiss winter experience. Whether on skis or from a terrace overlooking the ski slopes, Pilet recommended the most famous winter regions in Switzerland, including Davos, Jungfrau Region, Lake Lucerne Region, Matterhorn Region, Schilthorn, St. Moritz, Titlis, and Zermatt Matterhorn.
To help Malaysian travelers connect with the Swiss winter spirit, Switzerland Tourism has enlisted the expertise of Olympic Champion Marco Odermatt. In a series of short clips, Odermatt provides valuable
suggestions on how to enjoy winter the Swiss way, ensuring an unforgettable experience for Malaysian visitors.