Malaysia is working hard to create a plan to draw in over 5 million visitors from China this year.
According to Ammar Abd Ghapar, director-general of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia), the plan includes boosting the number of flights from China and enticing new airlines to think about positioning Malaysia as a top travel destination.
Speaking after Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) welcomed Loong Air's first flight from Hangzhou, China, on February 2, the official stated that Malaysia is pushing for more charter flights from China to carry out the initiative and is working with airlines and travel agencies to increase the frequency of flights from perhaps twice a week to the goal of four flights per week.
In addition to enhancing tourism efforts for Visit Malaysia Year 2026, he said the goal is in keeping with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China this year.
Additionally, he expressed optimism that Tourism Malaysia would be able to meet its target of 5–7 million Chinese visitors this year, which would be a five-fold increase over Chinese arrivals the previous year and in line with the 30-day visa exemption initiative for Chinese and Indian tourists that began on December 1, 2023.
China continues to rank among the top six markets for visitor arrivals into Malaysia, according to remarks made earlier by Tourism Malaysia Deputy Chairman Datuk Yeoh Soon Hin.
About 1.4 million Chinese tourists arrived in Malaysia in 2023, out of a total of over 18 million foreign visitors, spending US$14.02 billion on travel.
According to Yeoh Soon Hin, the new route from Hangzhou, additional routes, and package flights connecting Malaysia with China's first- and second-tier cities should be able to accommodate the country's expanding tourist population.
Loong Air intends to run three weekly flights from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport to KLIA on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, as well as one round-trip flight in the other direction.
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