Malaysian outbound events specialists are optimistic of being better able to push Jeju as a destination now that AirAsia X’s has launched a new route to the South Korean resort island.
The airline will commence four new weekly services â€“ on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays â€“ to the South Korean province from December 12. It is the only airline with direct flights between Jeju and Kuala Lumpur.
Konrad Ong, managing director, MICE Hubs Travel & Tours, enthused: â€œOur corporate clients are always looking for new destinations, and we now can propose Jeju for incentives. In the past, we did not promote Jeju for business events, as there was no direct flights. The direct flights are a savings on both time and cost.”
On why Jeju would appeal to the Malaysian corporate market, Ong pointed out that “it is a beautiful island destination with national parks and natural beauty”.
Another agent, Syed Razif Al-Yahya, group managing director of Sutra Travel & Tourism Management Group, agreed: â€œDirect flights are necessary for the business events segment. In the past, one had to go through Busan or transit at another point in South Korea to get to Jeju, which was not practical for this segment.”
But now with the new flight route, Syed commented that the Korean tourism board in Malaysia should create more promotions related to Jeju for both the corporate market and travel agents, as he feels that the island has the necessary facilities to be both a meetings and incentives destinations.
As for Hidden Asia Travel & Tours’ managing director, Nanda Kumar, he believes that “Jeju is a very affordable destination”, and would be good for incentive travels.
He shared: “The four weekly flights are perfect for four-day packages, which is the standard incentive package. We will be promoting the destination through our email blasts to corporate clients in our database.”
In the first eight months of the year, the number of Malaysians who visited South Korea totalled 176,140, a five per cent growth year-on-year.