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China tourists flooding Malaysia over long weekend

Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA — Local tour agencies are having their hands full with the increase in tourists from China arriving in the country this weekend for the Chinese New Year holidays.

Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association president Datuk Albert Tan Sam Soon said many tourists from China were taking advantage of the long Chinese New Year holiday to come to Malaysia.

He said the drastic increase in the number of tourists from China coming to Malaysia has forced several tour agencies to obtain temporary tour guide pass to handle the visitors.

Penang, Malacca, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Sabah and Sarawak are the main destinations for tourists from China arriving in the country this week.

Tan attributed the increase in tourists from China coming to Malaysia to the introduction of more flight routes between Malaysia and major towns in China.

The implementation of e-visa and electronic travel registration and information by the government since March last year also attracted more tourists from China to come to Malaysia, he added.
He said efforts by the Malaysian Tourism and Culture Ministry in promoting the country in China was also a factor.

Tam said the association, with 800 members in Penang, Perak, Johor Bahru and Sabah, was ready to receive the Chinese visitors.

He expected about four million tourists from China to come to Malaysia this year.

Prior to this, it was reported that 2.2 million Chinese nationals applied to visit Malaysia between March and December last year, from only 1.2 million during the corresponding period in 2015.

In 2015, tourists from China spent about RM5.7 billion, or an average of RM3,500 per person, during their stay in the country.

Source: The Rakyat Post