Published on : Thursday, December 5, 2019
Malaysia has set huge plans for its tourism industry. The Southeast Asian nation hopes to attract 30 million visitors collectively spending 100 billion ringgit (US$24 billion) by the end of 2020. In order to achieve this, the prime minister of Malaysia, 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, has launched the aptly named Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign. He said in July, “We need to connect and reach out to ‘high yield’ markets like the ASEAN, China, India, the United Kingdom and Germany.”
Last year, Malaysia earned 84.1 billion ringgit from around 26 million visitors, with neighbors Singapore, Indonesia, China, Thailand and Brunei leading as the largest source markets. Tourism Malaysia would be collaborating with Chinese travel services and social media platform Mafengwo for increasing the number of arrivals from the Middle Kingdom from 2.9 million in 2018 to 3.5 million, in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia 2020 programme.
However, more tourists mean potential misbehavior. China’s ambassador to Malaysia recently acknowledged that the embassy had received complaints regarding misconduct of mainland Chinese travelers in Malaysia.
The ambassador acknowledged that this is a cause of embarrassment for his government, although he maintained, “The Chinese have a civilization dating back 5,000 years and we know how to behave properly and not offend others.”
“We will educate our tourists to behave properly in Malaysia,” the ambassador added.