KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — The government will intensify the Visit Malaysia campaign promotion in second-tier cities in China to bring back the confidence of Chinese tourists to visit Malaysia.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told the Dewan Rakyat today the ministry would aggressively promote Malaysia at several cities including Wuhan, Tianjin and Chengdu.
“The impact was very bad from first-tier cities in China, namely, Beijing and Guangzhou, but remember there are millions of people in second-tier cities there.
“Now, what we do is not only focusing the campaign on first-tier cities but we will also visit second-tier cities,” he said.
He was replying to a supplementary question from Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PKR-Kuala Langat) who wanted to know the government’s efforts in reconvincing tourists from China following the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines (MAS) aircraft MH370 and kidnappings on the east coast of Sabah.
Flight MH370 with 239 passengers and 12 crew, went off the radar an hour after taking off from the KL International Airport to Beijing at 12.41am on March 8.
Meanwhile, on May 6, a caged fish rearing company manager from China was kidnapped by five armed men in Pulau Baik, Lahad Datu, a month after a China tourist was kidnapped at a resort in Semporna, Sabah.
However, Mohamed Nazri said the incident that befell flight MH370 and flight MH17, which was shot down in Ukraine on July 17, killing all aboard, did not stunt the national tourism sector and the implementation of the Visit Malaysia Year campaign.
He said, the country recorded a foreign tourist arrivals of 13.87 million from January to June this year or an increase of 10.5 per cent compared to the same period last year (12.55 million).
“We at the ministry are convinced the foreign tourist arrival target of 28 million this year will be met,” he said when replying to Datuk Jumat Idris (BN-Sepanggar) who wanted to know the ministry’s effort to revive the tourism industry in Sabah which was adversely affected by the intrusion in Lahad Datu and the flight MH370 incident.
He added, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had visited China recently in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Malaysia-China friendship and met its leaders to help convince China tourists to come to Malaysia. — Bernama