Tourism industry shifting away from China, new focus on Asean: Matta


Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia still top international arrival numbers, notes president

KUCHING – The tourism industry has shifted its reliance and focus from the China market to other Asean countries in terms of international arrivals, said Datuk Tan Kok Liang. The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president said tourist arrival numbers from China used to be in the top three in the country before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There has been a slight change of landscape and market diversity post-pandemic. The tourism industry has realised it cannot overly focus on the China market for international arrivals.

“International arrivals from China used to fall below Singapore and Thailand, but are now still very low, perhaps due to visa issues,” he told reporters after launching Airworld Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd at Gala City here today.

Airworld Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd is the fourth company under Airworld Group of Companies, led by Datuk Seri Winston Liaw, who is also Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents chairman.

According to Tan, Singapore still tops the country’s international arrivals followed by Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. He was quick to add that these Asean markets constituted about 70% of the country’s overall international arrivals.

He said Malaysia would also expect more travellers from India as the country has opened its borders.

“As for China, we still have tourist visa problems. After that would be the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia,” he said.

Tan observed that domestic tourism has been doing quite well after the pandemic.

“Of course, the domestic (industry) has been doing fairly well in the past two or so years. Due to the pandemic, people started to travel domestically, especially to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

– Borneo Post Online, March 30, 2023

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