KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and several MPs will make a courtesy call on Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, Huang Huikang, today.
Nazri, who will be making the visit in his capacity as Inter-Parliamentary Union Malaysia chairman, said the visit was meant as an expression of solidarity with the Chinese people during this difficult period caused by the missing MH370.
“What has happened (with MH370) is very unfortunate,” he said yesterday on the sidelines of the National Colloquium on Malaysia’s Chairmanship of Asean 2015.
The Tourism Minister also reiterated that all tourism roadshows in China would cease until there was closure for MH370.
“So long as there is no closure, I do not think it is appropriate to continue the roadshows in China,” said Nazri, who acknowledged that the incident has affected tourist arrivals from China, which forms Malaysia’s third largest market for tourism, as well as affect Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
Meanwhile, several Penang hotels have reported a large number of cancellations from Chinese tourists for next month, said the Penang Hoteliers Association (PHA), which represents 70 hotels.
According to PHA chairman, Datuk Lim Mee Lee, many member hotels had told him that cancellations came from tour agencies which had earlier booked a large number of room nights.
“They did not specify the reasons, but we believe it is because of MH370.
“Labour Day holidays lasts for about 10 days in China, and this is the period when hotels here will enjoy block bookings from Chinese tour companies. This year is going to be hard,” said Lim.
The Penang Chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), which represents 50 international hotels and resorts in the state, reported that three of its member hotels had booking cancellations.
“One of them lost a significant number of bookings,” said MAH’s Penang chapter chairman Mary Ann Harris.