The New York office of Tourism Malaysia is aggressively pushing the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme in the United States, its vice-president Salahuddin Mohd Arifin said.
It is now trying to partner with magazines, tour operators, airlines and others to promote Malaysia and its MM2H programme.
He foresees good prospects of increasing traffic from the US to Malaysia for specific business segments such as MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), MM2H, medical tourism and others.
“Though the MICE segment is directly promoted by a dedicated office in Kuala Lumpur called MyCEB (Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau), we try to help whenever we can,” he told.
MyCEB, an independent body established to further strengthen Malaysia’s business events brand, serves as a one-stop centre to assist meeting and event planners to bid for and stage regional and international business events in Malaysia,and also functions as a conduit for national product development.
Tourism Malaysia New York is currently upgrading its website to have a “new look” to make it more attractive to Americans who may want to have detailed information about various aspects of tourism to Malaysia.
He said although many Americans were unwilling to undertake long-haul travel these days, he was confident that the MM2H programme would change their mind because it provided all kinds of facilities connected with good lifestyle in an attractive destination.
The programme is also attractive for both retirees and non-retirees, and offers a first-class amenities at affordable prices, he added.
Although it has been receiving lukewarm response from the Americans in the past, among others due to the huge geographical distance between both countries, now it has been getting enquiries from Americans of Asian origin, particularly applicants from Bangladesh, China and others.
“Bangladeshis living here probably have friends who are well-settled in Malaysia. They hear about their lifestyle in Malaysia and are naturally inclined to make enquiries about the MM2H.
“The Chinese ethnic group is also interested in the MM2H. “Americans who show interest in the MM2H usually have relatives, business associates and friends in Malaysia. But I can tell you for sure that once an American visits Malaysia, he becomes a repeat visitor,” said Salahuddin.