A joint tourism promotional push from 20 countries into Malaysia is to kick off in the new year.

Malaysia Airlines and Tourism Malaysia will promote the country through a two-year partnership signed at World Travel Market in London.

They have agreed to co-operate on advertising and promotional campaigns, as well as familiarisation trips for travel trade and media, among other initiatives.

Malaysia Airlines’ Group CEO Izham Ismail said: “Tourism Malaysia is one of our longest standing partners and we are delighted to see our close co-operation renewed and extended.

“The deal provides a strong platform to further grow inbound tourism to Malaysia.

“As the national carrier we have the most comprehensive network within Malaysia, from metropolitan cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang to remote areas such as Limbang and Ba’kelalan in Sabah and Sarawak.”

Tourism minister Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi said: “With this partnership, international tourists will be able to experience the wonders of Malaysia from the time they board our national carrier to fly to our country.

“Thus, I welcome everyone to discover Malaysian hospitality and explore this unique, multi-cultural destination that is modern, with comfortable facilities, yet which has a deep-rooted cultural heritage that influences everything from our language, architecture, food, festivals and more.”