Spike in arrivals from China
PETALING JAYA: More Chinese nationals will be spending the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays in Malaysia – some 70% more, compared to January last year.
Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya said more than 327,000 visa and entry passes were issued to the Chinese last month alone.
This is compared to the 193,000 issued during the same period last year.
“The Chinese like being in Malaysia during the Chinese New Year period as it is a major festival celebrated nationwide here. They look forward to experiencing our colourful festivities while on holiday,” he said in an interview.
MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said it has become a trend for the Chinese to travel abroad during the festive period and that Malaysia was one of their favourite destinations.
“They feel that it is better to spend outside (of China) as it is good value for money. Additionally, holiday destinations in China will be packed with other tourists and many shops are closed,” he said.
Tan added that the Chinese enjoy seven days of public holiday during the festival.
With the ease of communication, availability of good food and with Malaysia being a shopping haven, the Chinese keep coming back.
“The availability of watersport activities and local attractions also make Malaysia an attractive holiday destination,” he added.
He said that as it was winter in China now, Malaysia’s warm climate was also a draw.
On attracting more Chinese tourists in the coming years, Tan said the tourism infrastructure must be further developed to sustain the increasing number of tourists.
“There is also a need for more Chinese-speaking tourist guides,” he said.
A Pearl Holiday (M) Travel & Tour Sdn Bhd spokesman said the firm would be very busy.
“We will have up to 200 tour groups from China during Chinese New Year,” she said.
Mangga Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd director for inbound services L.F. Chong said the travel agency is expecting 20% to 30% more Chinese tourists this year.
“Chinese New Year is always a peak period for us,” he said.
His company, which targets the higher-end market, usually bring in tourists from Hubei, a landlocked province in Central China.
In August last year, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport launched the Chinese Travellers Affairs Helpdesk to ensure a seamless experience for Chinese tourists.
The desk, which is located before the immigration counter, will have two Mandarin-speaking volunteers to assist and guide the Chinese tourists and provide additional on-arrival information.
from StarOnline, 10th Febuary 2018