As per the Nielsen India Outbound Travel Monitor 2008 conducted in affiliation with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), more and more Indians are traveling abroad for leisure or business and Asian countries have emerged as the most sought-after destinations by the Indians. In the coming 12 months, Singapore would emerge as the most common travel destination for Indians (24%), followed by Dubai, Australia, and Malaysia at second place with 17% each.
Considering the budding outbound dynamics of the India market, Malaysia is ready to secure its position as India's preferred travel getaway with its strategic tourism initiatives. Tourism Malaysia is focused on the Indian market and is targeting 500,000 Indian arrivals to the country in 2008, of which around 30% is estimated to come in through the MICE (meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition) tourism route. Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi are one of the most favored destinations for Indian travelers.
India is among the top 10 tourism generating markets of Malaysia. While Malaysia was visited by 422,452 Indians in 2007, it observed a 32% growth for the January-August 2008 period with 377,011 visitors. Malaysia Tourism Board is now aiming beyond Kuala Lumpur, offering short breaks to Langkawi, Penang, Pangkor, Tioman, Sabah and Sarawak, to fetch more visitors from India. This new strategy will focus on active tourism indulgences, eco-tourism, driving holidays, soft adventure and island retreats as well.