Malaysia eyes to attract over 5 million Chinese tourists in 2024

By VNA   February 2, 2024 | 05:17 pm PT
Malaysia eyes to attract over 5 million Chinese tourists in 2024
Travelers arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, 2021. Photo by Reuters
Malaysia is actively developing a strategy to attract more than 5 million tourists from China this year.

Ammar Abd Ghapar, director-general of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia), said the strategy includes increasing flight frequencies from China and encouraging new airlines in the country to consider promoting Malaysia as a top destination of choice.

Speaking after welcoming Loong Air's inaugural flight from China's Hangzhou at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Feb. 2, the official said that Malaysia is encouraging more charter flights from China to implement the initiative and leveraging with travel agents and airlines to increase the frequency of flights from maybe twice a week to the target of four flights a week.

He said the target is also in line with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China this year, in addition to boosting tourism efforts for Visit Malaysia Year 2026.

He was also optimistic that Tourism Malaysia can reach the target of between 5 million and 7 million Chinese tourists for this year, which means a five-fold increase on last year’s Chinese arrivals, in line with the 30-day visa exemption initiative for Chinese and Indian tourists which started on Dec. 1, 2023.

Earlier, Tourism Malaysia Deputy Chairman Datuk Yeoh Soon Hin said China is a key tourist source market to Malaysia and remains in the top six markets for tourist arrivals into Malaysia.

In 2023, Malaysia received about 1.4 million Chinese tourists and in total about 18 million international tourist arrivals with US$14.02 billion in tourism expenditure.

Yeoh Soon Hin said that the new route from Hangzhou, new routes and package flights connecting first- and second-tier cities in China with Malaysia are expected to be able to meet the growing demand of tourists from China.

Loong Air plans to operate three flights per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport to KLIA and round trip in the opposite direction.

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