After months of tragedies and setbacks, Malaysia's tourism arm is hoping Malaysian culture, food, and cheap airfares will pull Kiwi travellers back.
Tourism Malaysia's New Zealand director, Zalina Ahmad, said the country's tourism sector had been "quite badly affected" by Malaysia Airlines' twin tragedies, but is hopeful it will bounce back.
In March, Flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared with 239 passengers on board, and a July downing of MH17 killed all 298 people on board.
"We have had cancellations and people losing confidence, but we are seeing the number of Kiwis [travelling to Malaysia] increasing," Mrs Ahmad said.
Yesterday's Visit Malaysia Carnival - the first such event to be organised in Auckland by Tourism Malaysia - was a step towards rekindling Kiwi interest.
Mrs Ahmad said the two disasters involving Malaysia Airlines had inadvertently "raised the profile" of the country and now "everyone's heard of Malaysia".
"By promoting our culture and our food ... hopefully people will like it and will make plans to come visit," she said.
The carnival at ASB Showgrounds featured food, cultural performances and cooking demonstrations. A booth was also promoting Malaysia as a destination for medical tourism and cheap dental treatments.
Many visitors at the carnival said they were there just for the food and show, rather than planning a trip to Malaysia. Some still had reservations about flying the national carrier despite it offering a "spring sensation" cheap fare deal.
"Hell no, Malaysia's a great place to go for a holiday but no way am I taking Malaysia Airlines," said cleaning specialist Robyn Brown.
Last month, the airline was forced to scrap a competition asking people what activities and destinations were on their "bucket list". It acknowledged the promotion was inappropriate given the two disasters that had occurred this year.
However University of Auckland student Nur Aishah Ahmad Kamal said Malaysia Airlines would "always be" her airline of choice.
"If we Malaysians don't support our national airline, who would?"