Hotel operators hope Fan’s star power shines on Melaka


MELAKA: Hotel operators in Melaka are rolling out the red carpet for more Chinese tourists, hoping Fan Bingbing’s recent appointment as tourism ambassador will ignite a surge in visitors.

“While we don’t expect instant results, we’re confident her massive fanbase has the potential to significantly boost tourist arrivals, eventually benefiting the local hospitality industry,” said Malaysian Hotel Association of Hotels Melaka chapter chairman Khairulnizam Kasim.

He added that the use of a celebrity’s status to draw tourists is a tried and tested approach that has created an impact on holidaymakers across the globe, noting that Fan has 63 million followers on Weibo, which is a Chinese online networking tool.

Fan, 42, was here last Friday to debut her role as the ambassador for Visit Melaka Year 2024.

The Chinese star’s fans gathered at the Stadthuys building in Bandar Hilir here to catch a glimpse of her.

Khairulnizam, when contacted, said hotels in Melaka were hopeful that Chinese travellers would spend their vacation here.

“We hope to see more high-end tourists from China and other parts of Asia,” he said.

There had been a similar buzz generated in 2015 when Kollywood star Rajinikanth visited Melaka to film his movie Kabali.

Casa del Rio Hotel benefited directly from Fan’s visit.

Manager Agnes Tay said the hotel team was thrilled to host the actress and her crew for their three-day stay.

“This exposure has definitely put our hotel on the map,” she said.

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