Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The introduction of easier visa facilities for Chinese tourists helped Malaysia register a drastic increase in tourist arrivals from China last year, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
The number of tourist arrivals between March and December last year touched 2.2 million, up from the 1.2 million for the corresponding period in 2015.
Ahmad Zahid, who is on a visit to China, also said that for the whole of 2015, Chinese tourist arrivals numbered 1.7 million and they spent about RM5.7 billion the country, averaging RM3,500 per tourist. These tourists included the Chinese nationals who reside outside China, he added.
Malaysia had introduced the Electronic Travel Registration & Information or eNTRI and e-visa facilities in March last year for tourists from China.
Ahmad Zahid also feels that “concerted efforts will continue to draw tourists during the three major holiday seasons, namely Chinese New Year, summer vacation and year-end holidays.”
He added that there was plenty of room for the Tourism and Culture Ministry to work on to bring more Chinese tourists to Malaysia.
He said the Tourism and Culture Ministry would have to step up the promotion of charter flights because many major cities in China did not enjoy direct flights to Malaysia.
Focus would be given to Malaysia’s Labuan as a new tourist destination and route for the arrival of more tourists from China and the duty-free island would also facilitate the access of tourists to Sabah and Sarawak states, he said.
Ahmad Zahid said that as the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Tourism, he would seek an increase in the allocation for advertising and promotion by the Tourism and Culture Ministry.
Tags: Chinese tourist