Before Thailand embracing the concept of sport tourism, Malaysia had already stepped into the idea of being a sport destination some 15 years ago with prestigious events such as the Climbathon in the Kinabalu Mountain (Sabah, Borneo), the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix in Subang, the Tour de Langkawi or the Penang Marathon.
Malaysia is strengthening further its image to sport fans by targeting now football lovers in Asia. Tourism Malaysia has sealed at the end of May a deal to become La Liga’s Tourism Destination Partner in Asia, following a contract signed between Tourism Malaysia and Mediapro, the Malaysian representative for the top-rated football league.
The title is expected to drive interest for Malaysia as a tourist destination, leveraging on the football league’s presence in Asia. Football is a well-loved sport in the region and La Liga has a strong fan-base in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives, where the branding will be visible.
As Tourism Destination Partner for Asia, Tourism Malaysia will have brand exposure in over 40 countries with approximately 186 million total viewership.
Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Mirza Mohammad Taiyab says, “La Liga is the top football league in Europe and they have a huge fan-base in Asia. This partnership title will be an impactful exposure for Malaysia and we are excited to be associated with the brand.”
The year-long branding is part of Tourism Malaysia’s marketing and promotion plan to further build demand for travel to Malaysia from its key international markets in Asia.
“This branding exercise is a step to draw the interest of sports fans in Asia, especially La Liga supporters, to consider Malaysia as their next holiday destination and experience all that we have to offer,” said Mirza Mohammad Taiyab during the signature of the partnership.
He added, “Malaysia is a multi-cultural and diverse destination that offers the perfect combination of business and leisure experience to all visitors. Malaysia’s vibrant culture and heritage, delicious food, beaches, unique architecture and UNESCO World Heritage sites will showcase the Malaysia Truly Asia brand perfectly through this La Liga platform.