Mar 12, 2018


BERLIN, GERMANY, 11 MARCH 2018: The world’s leading travel trade show – ITB Berlin – will be echoing to the rhythm of Malaysian drums over the next year, as the show builds up to its 2019 edition.

Malaysia, represented by Dato’ Dr. Siew Ka Wei, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia, “picked up the baton” from the 2018 partner, the German region of Mecklenburg Verpommern, at a hand-over ceremony on Sunday, 11 March, the final day of this year’s show.

The Official 2019 Partner Country status was agreed in June of 2017, between Tourism Malaysia and Messe Berlin represented by YBhg. Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud, Deputy Director General (Promotion) and the Head of ITB Berlin, David Ruetz, during a meeting in Shanghai on the occasion of ITB China, witnessed by YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture for Malaysia.

Malaysia’s official ITB partner country status in 2019 comes as the nation builds up to “Visit Malaysia 2020?, aiming to broadly increase the number and spending of international tourists, by enhancing the profile of different regions, and strongly underlining the country’s assets as a key tourist destination in South East Asia.

“Taking the role of Official Partner Country of ITB Berlin is an honour and a great opportunity. Being placed on the world stage like this, even more than before, will be an essential part of our government’s strategy in putting Malaysia at the forefront of the minds of international tourists when they consider travel in this part of the world,” said the Chairman.

He added, “Tourism is increasingly important as part of Malaysia’s GDP, and we recognise that it is an essential element in revitalising rural villages and creating employment, also forging new cultural ties with people from around the globe.”

“Malaysia has had a very serious presence at ITB Berlin for many years, and we have been very impressed by the development of this nation’s tourism offering,” stated David Ruetz, Head of ITB at Messe Berlin. “The fact that the Tourism Minister is also Minister for Culture will, I believe, truly add something to the activities that will be planned during the show, in particular the official opening ceremony, which will no doubt be highly spectacular.”

The 2019 Official Partner Country project is part of a much broader plan by Malaysia to increase awareness of the natural and human assets of the country over the next years. Kinabalu National Park in Sabah, Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Melaka and George Town cities and the archaeological heritage of the Lenggong Valley are four of the UNESCO designated World Heritage sites in Malaysia that will be highlighted. By the same token, the incredible variety of cultures and peoples that one encounters while travelling from one part of Malaysia to another are a key to the attractiveness of the destination.

As the partner country of ITB Berlin 2019 Malaysia will organise the opening ceremony on 6 March 2019 in the CityCube Berlin. From 6 to 10 March 2019 at ITB Berlin, Malaysia will fascinate visitors with a colourful programme of events.

Special Services for Media

With almost 6,000 media representatives attending the show, Tourism Malaysia, recognising the importance of communication in conjunction with the Partner Country status, has launched a new media initiative in cooperation with ITB Berlin and Cleverdis, publishers of ITB Berlin News – the official show daily.

A tourism media asset base at, featuring story ideas, interviews, features and rights-free photos, has officially been launched today, and will be built-up through the 12 months leading up to ITB Berlin 2019 (in addition to normal media assets on Tourism Malaysia website), giving journalists new insights and ideas for articles on the topic of this extraordinarily rich and diverse tourist destination.

Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud stated that the news site will be important in assisting the press with their work: “I believe that the impact of our partner country status depends on how we communicate before, during and after the event. In addition to our official press releases, the creation of extra assets that help members of the media create stories in tune with their target audiences will be very important. In this sense, one size does not fit all.”

The media asset base website will be linked to the main sites of ITB Berlin and Tourism Malaysia, as well as ITB Berlin News. All media assets are rights-free and no login is required.

Background info on ITB Berlin: The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show®

Around 10,000 exhibiting companies from 186 countries and regions attend ITB Berlin, the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show®, where over €7bn in turnover is recorded in the space of a few days.

From 6 to 10 March 2019, the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show® will again be the industry’s meeting place and must-see event, devoting itself to innovative and forward-looking trends in the travel industry, politics and business.

At the 53rd edition of ITB Berlin, around 10,000 tourism companies from 186 countries and regions will be represented on an area covering 160,000 square metres at the Messe Berlin fairgrounds.

Over 80% of the exhibitors are from abroad. More than 100,000 international trade visitors are expected to attend (travel agents, tour operators, etc.), seeking prosperous business opportunities. Many thousands of members of the public attend the show on the weekend, looking to find inspiration for their next trip.

Being Official ITB Berlin Partner Country means Malaysia’s branding will also reach 19 Million tourism and travel professionals worldwide through ITB ads and marketing physically, as well as 14 million page impressions on (seeing the Partner Country Logo).

“ITB Berlin has firmly established itself as an international brand and above all stands for acquiring industry contacts from around the world and industry knowledge that is first-hand. It is the logical consequence of positioning ourselves as the leading market force and opinion-former of the global travel industry,” said Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin.

Parallel with the show, the ITB Berlin Convention, the Leading Travel Industry Think Tank, will be held from 6 to 9 March 2019.


•5 Continents
•more than 180 Countries
•1,000 Qualified Top Travel Buyers
•> 10,000 Exhibitors
•> 28,000 Convention Visitors
•> 109,000 Trade Visitors
•> 160,000 Visitors in total
•> 5,000 International Media Representatives & 1,500 Bloggers
•160,000 Square meters
• 7 Bn. Euro Turnover

More details are available at, and at ITB Social Media Newsroom.


For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2017, Malaysia registered 25.9 million tourist arrivals, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world.

Press contact:

Media Relations Unit:

Aliza Mansor, Senior Assistant Director, Corporate Communication Division
Tel: +603-8891 8789

Editorial Unit:

Anis Rozalina Ramli (Ms), Senior Editor, Corporate Communication Division
Tel: +603-8891 8759

*Photo caption:*

Official “handover” ceremony with Harry Glawe, Economics Minister of Mecklenburg-Verpommern (left) and Dato’ Dr. Siew Ka Wei, Chairman, Tourism Malaysia (Centre), accompanied by Dr Martin Buck, Vice President of CompetenceCenter Travel & Logistics Messe Berlin.

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