Malaysia is set to become a top destination for Chinese tourists during Spring Festival.
Photo by Kuang Da
By DING Jingjing, XUE Bingbing
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar has announced visa-free entry for Chinese citizens for up to 30 days from December 1, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China in 2024.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning announced Friday a unilateral visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from six countries, including Malaysia.
With a mature tourism industry and high awareness among Chinese tourists, the effect of the policy on Chinese citizens is expected to be evident quickly.
After the announcement, searches for Malaysia on Tongcheng Travel rapidly increased. On the same day, flight searches for Malaysia on Fliggy were more than three times higher than the previous week.
Malaysia is a popular destination for Chinese tourists. According to official Malaysian government data, in 2019, over 3 million Chinese tourists visited the country, nearly 12 percent of all international tourists and generating 17.8 percent of tourism revenue.
Tourism is a fundamental pillar of Malaysia’s economy. “Malaysia Tourism Year 2025” expects to attract 23.5 million visitors and generate approximately 120 billion yuan (US$16 billion).
From Monday to Sunday last week, there were a total of 399 round-trip flights between the Chinese mainland and Malaysia. Routes cover a wide range of first, second, and third-tier cities and reach four cities in the holiday paradise. Capital Kuala Lumpur remains the top destination.
Especially after National Day, the civil aviation market is in the off-season, with weakening tourist demand and further reductions in ticket prices. Right now, round-trip tickets from Guangzhou to Kuala Lumpur are generally less than 1,000 yuan.
Next month, with the arrival of the Christmas and New Year holidays, ticket prices will significantly increase. According to the AirAsia website, a one-way ticket from Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur on December 29 is priced at 2,700 yuan.