TAFI convention is taking place after a 4-year hiatus and aims to rebuild Tourism in a more responsible and sustainable manner. The convention will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) which is the first International purpose-built Convention Centre in Kuching Sarawak and has state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and can host up to 5000 guests. TAFI expects over 750 delegates to travel to Malaysia to participate.
Travel Agent Federation of India (TAFI) is all set to organise the TAFI Convention 2022 at Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia from September 20 -23. The Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak (MTCP) YB Dato Sri Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that Indian tourist arrivals to Malaysia pre-pandemic in 2019 showed a positive trend with a 15% growth rate, while India ranked 5th in terms of visitor arrivals to Sarawak, marking a significant potential for Sarawak to tap into the Indian market.
“There has been a positive increase of 304% in visitor arrivals from India during the period of January to July 2022 compared to the same time period in 2021. TAFI Convention 2022 is a golden opportunity for us to ramp up Sarawak’s visibility in India and also to showcase our offerings to our Indian travel agent partners. We anticipate a 30% increase from the pre-pandemic arrivals to Malaysia this year. In 2019, the Indian market contributed to 735,309 arrivals (22%) to the country,” Hamzah added.
While inviting the Indian travel fraternity to join the convention, Ajay Prakash, President of TAFI said, “It is high time for the Indian Travel & Tourism industry to realise the potential of the industry and make an effort for its growth. Sarawak is a relatively unexplored destination for the Indian traveller. Also the destination promotes conservation and sustainable development. We anticipate that after the convention, our members will be inspired to promote tourism to this beautiful province since it can be a great venue for destination weddings, family travel and corporate events.”
Ajay Prakash said, “The destination, Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia is relatively unexplored by the Indian traveler and is not on the radar however it is a fabulous and beautiful destination which is being promoted for eco-tourism as it has a phenomenal rain forest experience. It is also a great destination for weddings and family holidays and we are taking our members there to experience this unknown destination for themselves”. The package will be inclusive of a 3 Night Pre or Post Convention Tour to beautiful places within Malaysia.
Focusing on building a more resilient and responsible tourism industry post-pandemic, TAFI is incorporating the “Build Back Better” theme to promote sustainable and responsible tourism practices, conservation and advanced greening efforts.
The convention will provide a platform for B2B networking where approximately 200 travel service providers from Malaysia will interact with members of TAFI to explore the possibilities of collaboration in both directions. “This business is all about the people and it’s important for us as TAFI members to connect with each other and share new ideas and avenues when we interact”, said Ajay Prakash
TAFI has organised their convention in Malaysia twice, in 1999 at Kuala Lumpur and in 2007 at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This will be the third TAFI convention that will be held in Malaysia. The agenda of the 2022 TAFI convention is to help the Indian travel trade discover the untapped province of Sarawak in Malaysia.
TAFI (Travel Agents Federation of India) was established 36 years ago in 1986 with the idea to bring the travel trade together to talk about ideas, think, raise issues with the relevant authorities, and seek appropriate solutions.
Currently, TAFI boasts 1500+ members across the country which includes IATA agents, Non-IATA agents, and travel services providers like visa facilitators, transporters, tourism boards, and airlines. They have 12 chapters across the country with the most recent chapter being J&K which was established in August 2022.