Aiming for a new tourism record


Tiong (third from right) announced the Ministry in collaboration with tourism industry players including Mica aims to get 7 million inbound tourists to Malaysia this year, from left Datuk Dr Ammar Abd Ghapar, Datuk Dr Yasmin Mahmood, and Angie Ng. From right are Cindy Seow and Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is setting its sights on attracting a record-breaking seven million Chinese tourists this year.

Prior to the pandemic, the country recorded 3.1 million of these arrivals in 2019.

To achieve this target, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing urged players in the tourism industry to work hand in hand.

“It is crucial for the tourism industry to unite and provide excellent services, including well-maintained hotels and restaurants,” he said.

He said there had been a notable increase in tourist arrivals from China and India following the government’s introduction of a 30-day visa-free entry to Malaysia, which took effect in December 2023.

This will be implemented until Dec 31 this year.

As a comparison, Malaysia welcomed 124,000 visitors from China and 52,000 from India in November 2023.

This went up in December with the arrival of 168,000 Chinese tourists and 84,000 Indian tourists, indicating a substantial month-on-month growth of 35.1% and 60.9% respectively.

Tiong, who attended the Malaysia Inbound Chinese Association (Mica) annual dinner on Wednesday, said in his speech that Malaysia is hoping to attract 30 million tourists this year.

Last year, he said the country reached its target of 26 million tourist arrivals.

He called on tourism industry players in each state to cooperate with the state tourism exco to promote their local attractions.

“I have been informed that many players in the tourism industry are still not familiar with local tourist attractions, so they are not actively promoting them,” he said.

Tiong added that he had received numerous complaints about poor hygiene and the lack of running water in the restrooms of some restaurants.

Mica president Datuk Dr Angie Ng said the association will cooperate with the ministry, Tourism Malaysia and state tourism to work together to achieve the goal of attracting seven million Chinese tourists to Malaysia.

She said Mica, in collaboration with the ministry, will organise a large-scale exhibition next month where members of Mica will promote Malaysian tourism in various cities in China.

“In June, Mica will collaborate with the Islamic Tourism Centre to develop Muslim-friendly tourism packages and promote cultural exchange between Malaysian and Chinese Muslim tourists.

“This will attract more Chinese Muslim visitors to experience Malaysian cuisine, the natural environment, and agrotourism,” she said.

She said Mica will also collaborate with the “Selangor Digital School – AI Nusantara” to cultivate digital talent in the tourism market.

This would enable them to assist in digitising Malaysian tourism and promoting tourism products more effectively through multimedia and creative platforms, she said.

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