Malaysia eyes two million Chinese tourists in 2014 - Bernama

Malaysia is expected to attract two million Chinese tourist arrivals next year in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014.

Malaysia managed to attract a total of 1.45 million Chinese tourist arrivals for the period from January to September, a rise of 32.6% compared to the same period last year, said Noran Ujang, director of Tourism Malaysia's Beijing Office.

He expressed confidence that, although Malaysia's target was 1.7 million Chinese tourist arrivals this year, it would be able to attract two million tourist arrivals from the world's second largest economy in 2014.

A total of 10 tourism exhibitions and fairs were to be held in China next year, including China's northern city of Harbin's Ice Sculpture Competition, Fishing Expo, Golf Show, and VMY 2014 grand fair, which would be held in May with more special fares promotion to be expected, said Noran.

He said a total of 21 new tourism initiatives would be implemented next year, including golf tourism, "Love Tour, Love Malaysia" silver-haired tour packages, fishing elite Malaysia tournament tour packages, "Ma Shang Liu Lian" durian tour packages and "fly and ride" packages.

General manager of BTG Outbound Tours Li Shuang said the company expected to bring about 2,000-3,000 Chinese tourists in next year, espcially from the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) segment.

He said Malaysia was ranked among the top three travel destinations in Asean countries for Chinese tourists, especially when China's currency, the yuan, had strengthened and reduced the cost of travel for Chinese tourists.

"However, air accessibility and hotel accommodation shortages are still the main challenges for us to bring in more visitors," Li added.

Vice-general manager and district manager of China Comfort Travel Group Co. Ltd, Wang Yang said the company would focus on elderly travellers in VMY 2014. Wang said the silver-haired tour packages would include health checks, packages for three generation, food and photography tours.

Currently, China records about 200 million elderly citizens who account for 14.8% of the total population.

Fish Tale Adventures, the first fishing company in China and a Malaysian company, will organise fishing elite Malaysia tournament tour packages every year. Its general manager Kevin Sun said the number of visiting anglers elites rose tenfold from less than 200 recorded in 2008 to more than 1,600 people in 2013. In order to increase awareness among Chinese anglers of 2014 VYM, Sun suggested that tourism agents sponsor tournaments in the country.

General manager of Grand Tour Golf Travel Service, Richard Song said the Malaysian government had invested heavily in golf courses in recent years to emerge as one of the Chinese golfers' favorite destinations.

"The quality of high-end golf courses is incomparable. There are people who speak Mandarin, and the climate is stable " he said, adding it expected more than 100 people to participate in a golf tournament to be held in Kuala Lumpur next year in February. - Bernama, December 24, 2013.


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