The Malaysian state of Selangor offers a vibrant mix of urban life, rich culture, and stunning natural beauty, making it an alluring, multifaceted travel destination. 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 spoke to Azrul Shah Mohamad, CEO, Tourism Selangor, about the destination and its tourism offerings.
Q.What attractions does Selangor present to cater to the tourism interests of the Indian market?
With India being one of the most populous countries with more than 500 million active Internet users, Indian tourists rely on the Internet a lot for their travel research. Tourism Selangor has digitalised its promotional efforts, such as through the Go Selangor application, which is easily accessible through Google Play and Apple App Store.
Apart from this, Selangor has an abundance of attractions to cater for the tourism interests of the Indian market, for its specific demands in terms of gastronomy selections, religion and beliefs, as well as arts and culture. Specifically, the Royal Klang Town is preserved to this day for its Indian heritage, with its own attraction called Little India that hosts decades of Indian shops, food outlets and more.Another interesting aspect is, Selangor also hosts the largest Hindu temple in the country. Batu Caves which has been around more than 400 million years old in Gombak, Selangor, is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. Tourists would usually visit Batu Caves during the Thaipusam Festival, where thousands of Hindu devotees would gather at the sacred site and perform rituals
Q.How high is India on Selangor’s list of priorities, and what flight connections are available to access this destination?
Selangor has received a high influx of tourists from India, with an additional 59.85% in 2022, with 65,573 tourists from India has travelled to Selangor. With regard to flights’ connectivity, few airlines support a direct flight to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, such as Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia and Batik Air. As per the record,
there are 145 flights per year, with over 26,994 seats sold in 2022. Petaling, Gombak, and Sepang are among the main districts in Selangor that receive a high influx of Indian tourists.
Q.From the pool of international tourists, Selangor receives around 6% of tourists from India. What
is your plan to augment the number?
Heading into Visit Selangor Year 2025, the State of Selangor, with support from the Local Councils, will keep improving and maintaining its infrastructure in terms of accessibility of public transport and public facilities to be used by tourists around the State. With Selangor has moved 90% of its promotional efforts to digital platforms, tourists can easily get access to travel content in Selangor through the official digital media Platforms.
Q.Could you tell us two of Selangor’s unique selling points?
Selangor is rich in its tourism segmentation, with over 10 that cover eco-tourism, agro-tourism, theme parks, gastronomy, shopping malls, and others. Despite being located in the city centre and being the nearest state to Kuala Lumpur, tourists can enjoy various attractions either in the urban or suburban area of Selangor, all located close to
Selangor stands out for its exceptional accessibility, serving as Malaysia’s international gateway. The state houses key transportation hubs like the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the prominent Port Klang Cruise Terminal. Its well-developed highway system interlinks the nine districts, offering convenience for tourists opting to drive.
Furthermore, Selangor boasts an extensive public transportation network, including the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rapid Transit (LRT), KTM Commuter Rail System, and widespread bus services accessible across the state.
Q.What different offerings does Selangor have over other Malaysian destinations?
The state hosts various tourist attractions that are only selectively located in other Malaysian destinations. Known as a state that has everything in one place, this has attracted tourists that come from different countries, ages, and backgrounds. Being the most developed state in Malaysia, public facilities have been the main focus of
the state, which eases international tourists.
As for its gastronomy selections, Selangor is a food paradise, offering a diverse range of cuisines. From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, visitors can savour Malay, Chinese, Indian, and international delicacies. For tourists who want to bring a memento back to their countries, the state hosts the largest shopping mall in Malaysia, the IOI City Mall with various other interactive malls in the state consisting of over 80 shopping centres.
For business travellers, the state hosts various luxury resorts and hotels- Amverton Cove Golf & Resort, Royal Chulan Hotel, Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort, Movenpick Hotel and Convention KLIA. The state also hosts many outdoor and indoor theme parks which suit people travelling with families.
These diverse offerings make Selangor a compelling destination that combines urban vibrancy with cultural richness and natural beauty, providing visitors with a multifaceted travel experience.
Q.What is your trade outreach strategy in India?
Tourism Selangor plans to do joint promotions with Tourism Malaysia Offices in India based in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi such as participating in OTM 2024, Malaysia Roadshow and many more. Besides this, we also plan to organise FAM Trip series with Tourism Agencies and Media from India. Further collaborations through MOC (Memorandum of Collaboration) with tourism associations from India will also be conducted to increase Selangor’s visibility in India.
This initiative also serves as preparation for the Visit Selangor Year Campaign 2025, here Tourism Selangor is looking for an agency as a strategic partner to sell Selangor tourism packages to the Indian market.