|The Chinese travel agency China Youth Travel Solution (CYTS) issued a statement on Mar. 26 saying that they have suspended bookings with Malaysian Airlines for all current travel to Malaysia. Travelers with existing reservations can ask for a full refund or transfer to other airlines. (Photo/CNS)|
March is the peak season for Chinese tourists traveling to Southeast Asia. Malaysia was one of the top holiday destinations for Chinese tourists. However, under the influence of the disappearance of flight MH370, bookings between China and Malaysia have fallen drastically.
The Chinese travel agency China Youth Travel Solution (CYTS) issued a statement on Mar. 26 saying that they have suspended bookings with Malaysian Airlines for all current travel to Malaysia. Travelers with existing reservations can ask for a full refund or transfer to other airlines. Ge Lei, the marketing manager of CYTS told a reporter from People's Daily Online: "The missing jet incident has had a considerable impact on the China's travel market to Malaysia. Compared to the same period last year, bookings to Malaysia have ground to a halt."
Two other major travel agencies - China International Travel Solution (CITS) and China Travel Solution (CTS) – confirm the situation. "We are accustomed to having group tours to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand," a travel agent from CTS told People's Daily Online. "Now most travelers have canceled their trips. No one is booking the route to Malaysia in April."
A research report by Merrill Lynch showed that Chinese tourists account for more than 10 percent of travelers to Malaysia, and contribute 6 percent of Malaysia's revenues from tourism - equivalent to 0.4 percent of the country's GDP.
Malaysia had high expectations of attracting greater numbers of Chinese travelers in 2014. "Visit Malaysia Year" was planned for the very purpose. However its roadshows in China are to be halted until the MH370 case is resolved.
If the Malaysia Airlines incident continue to simmer, the number of tourists from China to Malaysia will be reduced by between 400 and 800 thousand; if every Chinese tourist spends $US 1600, Malaysia's tourism industry will lose a sum between 600 million and 1.2 billion dollars.
Read the Chinese version:中国游客“赴马游”陷入冰点 部分游客表示不坐马航; Source: People's Daily Online