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‘Kelantan offers history, architecture, markets, traditional villages, and outdoor fun for all’

The Malaysian state of Kelantan has long been seen as a bulwark of Malay tradition, with centuries of history. In order to educate the travel trade in the Indian market, Tourism Malaysia in association with TravelBiz Monitor has launched the Malaysia Master Specialist e-learning programme, and Kelantan is one of the featured states.

Q.What does Kelantan offer for tourism to the Indian market?

Kelantan provides a rich cultural experience for the Indian market through traditional Malay festivals, arts, and crafts, giving Indian travellers a unique peek into the authentic Malay’s past. The state’s numerous gastronomic pleasures, ranging from nasi dagang to ayam percik,satisfies foodies, while its natural beauty, which include clean beaches, lush forests, and picturesque waterfalls, appeal to adventurers and nature lovers. Furthermore, Kelantan’s historical and architectural landmarks, local markets, traditional villages, and outdoor activities make it a well-rounded destination. Meanwhile, the state’s tranquil climate gives possibilities for wellness and relaxation for tourists who are looking for a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Kelantan is a tempting choice for Indian travellers who seek after a genuine and diversified travel experience, with a rich combination of cultural, gastronomic, natural, and historical encounters.

Q. Kelantan is called the cradle of Malay culture, please elaborate on this tag line.

“Kelantan: The Cradle of Malay Culture” captures the Malaysian state’s great historical and cultural significance. Kelantan has long been seen as a bulwark of Malay tradition, with centuries of history. The Kelantanese people had worked hard to conserve and spread a wide range of Malay traditions which include traditional performances such as Dikir Barat, Mak Yong, Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry, and musical performances like Rebab as well as Rebana Ubi and Kertok Kelapa percussions. Besides that, we also have crafts such as batik drawing, songket weaving, silver smithing and wood carving which all can be experienced first-hand by the tourists who are interested to learn on how to make these crafts. Kelantan’s architectural legacy, traditional way of life, distinct dialect, and musical traditions highlight its role as a cradle of Malay culture, making it a location where the rich tapestry of Malay heritage is embraced and treasured.

Q.Where does India rank as a priority for Kelantan, and which are the flight connections to reach the destination?

India may not be the highest priority for Kelantan, as Malaysia’s primary trade and tourism relationships often focus on neighbouring countries and key global partners. However, the priority of India can change over time based on evolving economic, diplomatic, and trade factors. The level of priority depends on specific economic and strategic interests. Kelantan’s main entrance point by air is through Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (KBR). However as of now, the airport only cater for domestic flights hence Indian tourists will need to fly here via a transit in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), and then take a connecting flight to Kota Bharu. Flight connections can vary over time based on demand and market conditions, so it’s critical to check with airlines and travel companies for the most up-to-date flight information and itineraries.

Q. What different offerings does Kelantan have over other Malaysian destinations?

With its distinct cultural and natural assets, Kelantan stands out among other Malaysian destinations. The state, known as “The Cradle of Malay Culture,” is well-known for its unflinching dedication to conserving and promoting ancient Malay practises and art forms, distinguishing it as a cultural hotspot. Visitors may learn about traditional crafts like as batik and songket fabrics, wood carvings, and silverware, as well as attend unique festivities such as the Kelantan International Kite Festival and big Eid celebrations.

It is undeniable that Kelantan is very famous for its delectable cuisine which often keeps the tourists coming back for more. Among the frequently sought- after delicacies are nasi dagang, nasi kerabu, nasi tumpang, laksa and Kelantanese desserts like akok, lompat tikam, ketupat sotong, jala mas, buah
tanjung and so on. Besides that, its historical significance as one of the oldest Malay Sultanates is reflected in well-preserved buildings, while the state’s natural beauty, which includes peaceful beaches and lush jungles, draws nature lovers. Kelantan presents a unique and immersive atmosphere for people wishing to study Malay heritage and customs, with a strong emphasis on conserving cultural traditions and a variety of cultural organisations.

Q. What is your trade outreach strategy in India?

Creating a trade outreach plan in India necessitates a multifaceted approach. Begin by performing extensive market research to gain a complete understanding of the Indian business landscape, defining the target audience, and establishing clear trade objectives. Customise the market entrance approach to the company model, accounting for aspects such as regulatory compliance, localization, and distribution networks. Create a marketing and promotion plan for the Indian market that takes use of cultural knowledge and local connections. It is critical to build a strong network and collaborate with local businesses, and you should also give outstanding customer service. Ensuring a dependable supply chain and logistics infrastructure, analysing the performance, and modifying as needed are critical success factors.

Q. What is your social media strategy for Indian market?

We promote Kelantan tourism in the Indian market through a social media strategy. It is essential to understand the Indian audience and their travel preferences. Hence, we use visually compelling content, including high-quality photos and videos, showcasing Kelantan’s natural beauty, cultural festivals, and traditional arts. In these posts we highlight Kelantan’s most unique selling point such as its trademark as “The Cradle of Malay Culture,” and create engaging and shareable content that tells captivating stories about the fascinating destinations here.

Apart from that, we encourage user-generated content by running campaigns and contests. Our marketing team will provide insights into Kelantan’s cultural heritage and local cuisine while engaging the audience through interactive posts, live streaming, and responsive communication through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and TikTok. Additionally, our strategy is to provide paid advertising promotion to reach a broader Indian audience and collaborate with tourism authorities for support. We will also leverage Indian travel influencers who travel here to share their experiences. These are all the initiatives that can be done strategy to welcome Indian travellers to explore Kelantan.

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