The Tourism and Culture Ministry of Malaysia is quite certain that Malaysia would be capable of drawing an overwhelming three million tourists from China this year.
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the Tourism Minister said that there has been a considerable increase in the number of inbound tourists from China in the initial three months of the year as compared to the same period last year.
He described the increase as ‘encouraging’ and said that Sabah was the preferred tourist locale especially for the Chinese holidaymakers on account of a series of factors including accessibility. He added that the Chinese tourists are attracted to this region thanks to the element of accessibility, culture, people, food, warm seas, beaches and blue skies.
Sabah is located at a short distance from Hong Kong that is about three-and-a-half hours away by flight.
He explained that since the Chinese tourists like the idea of this exotic place, they swarm around Sabah particularly for weekend getaways. Nazri feels that the easy accessibility to durian, particularly of the Musang King variety is yet another reason why Chinese travellers love this part of the world.
The minister had even launched the HARTAR, a new smart tourism mobile app at the Malaysian Tourism Centre (MaTiC) on Thursday.
Nazri said that he was certain that Malaysia would hit the four million mark for the inbound tourists from China in 2018 and reach eight million in the year 2020 because of two visa schemes that were introduced by the Government in March last year.
The two schemes include Entri that is a special travel note and an eVisa.
In the year 2016, Malaysia had received about 26.7 million tourists.