Malaysia tourism players ready to welcome Chinese tourists with health SOP in place

 Tuesday, January 10, 2023 


Even as the countries with tourism driven economy gear up to welcome Chinese tourists with China easing border restrictions, certain parties in Malaysia are calling for a ban on visitors from China. Speaking on the issue the Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents (MATTA) said that public health must be safeguarded even while the country looks to the tourism sector to drive economic recovery.

“MATTA is not an expert on public health, hence, we always refer to the Health Ministry and the government to give us directions. We will follow accordingly,” The Star quoted the association’s president Datuk Tan Kok Liang as saying. “If any country is recording an alarming rate of infections, then we should implement the necessary measures,” he added.

With Chinese New Year is around the corner, there would not be an immediate influx of Chinese tourists. Dismissing allegations that Chinese nationals would flock into the country immediately, he said arrivals from China would only be expected after March.

As pet The Star, Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (Mita) president Uzaidi Udanis also said the industry would only expect tourists from China to arrive after the festive season, and that peak arrivals would be expected around September.

“We haven’t seen any increase in demand from Chinese guests, as most of them have yet to renew their passports, so it will take some time for them to arrive in Malaysia. Uzaidi also said there was no direct flight operational from China to Malaysia currently.

On handling any possible Covid-19 outbreak, he said tourism players in Malaysia were trained and prepared for any possibility.

Commenting on the economic repercussions if discriminatory moves are made against Chinese tourists, Uzaidi said the loss could be much bigger than estimated.

According to a Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry report from 2019, China was number four in terms of total expenditure per capita when visiting Malaysia, at RM4,546. Saudi Arabian visitors topped the list with a per capita expenditure of RM11,376.90.

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