Chinese Tourists to Malaysia Set to Benefit From New Online Platform and Extension of Visa Waiver Scheme
- Posted by Christopher Ledsham
- On 8th November 2016
- Alibaba, alitrip, malaysia, Visa Policy
Building upon the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Tourism Malaysia and the Alibaba Group in July 2016, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak launched the Alitrip Malaysia Tourism Platform (MTP) in Beijing on November 4, 2016. He was joined at the launch event by a number of high-profile dignitaries, including Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma and Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, who had the previous day announced an extension of the eNTRI visa-waiver programme for Chinese tourists to Malaysia, which will now run for an additional 12 months until December 31, 2017.
The new MTP online platform will allow Malaysian tourism merchants to advertise and sell their products directly to Chinese customers, who will benefit from streamlined access to a wide range of travel products, such as flights, accommodation, tour packages, local transport, vouchers for shopping and dining, as well as tickets for various attractions and events in Malaysia.
Buoyed by the introduction of the tourist waiver scheme, Chinese arrivals to Malaysia have once again returned to the levels seen in 2013, the last full year before the disappearance of the MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing led to a deterioration in the country’s destination image in the eyes of security-conscious Chinese travellers.
In the first eight months of 2016 alone, Malaysia has welcomed over 1.4 million visitors from China and the government remains optimistic of reaching its stated goal of 2 million arrivals by the end of the year. With arrivals from China currently behind those only from Singapore and Indonesia, Malaysia is aiming to attract 8 million Chinese arrivals by 2020 in order to reach its target of 36 million of all nationalities for the same year.
The Malaysian tourism industry’s optimistic outlook is also being shared by the aviation industry, evidenced by Malaysia Airlines’ plans to significantly expand its flight connections with China early next year. The national carrier will fly to eight new destinations on 11 new routes, which will include connections from Kuala Lumpur to Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Haikou, Nanjing and Fuzhou, as well as opening services from Kota Kinabalu to Tianjin and Penang to Shanghai. Accordingly, the airline further hopes to triple its trade with China in the coming five years and may look to offering direct flights to as many as 20 Chinese destinations by 2019.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of regions, providing detailed insights and analysing visitor behaviour.
With COTRI’s insights you can forge a successful business strategy built upon in-depth market expertise, comprehensive qualitative analysis and future projections. The Autumn 2016 Edition of the COTRI Market report features in-depth exploration of the developing trends in the field, supported by a wealth of qualitative and quantitative statistical research.