KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese tourists love visiting Malaysia as they like the warm weather and the country’s status as a shopping haven, a study by the tourism and culture ministry revealed.
Minister Nazri Aziz said that citizens from the People’s Republic of China also had a soft spot for Sabah as the East Malaysian state was closer to China and had pristine beaches.
He pointed out that Guangzhou was just three hours away from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital.
“It is almost like a domestic flight for them. It is also because of the good food. They especially love seafood,” he told the Dewan Rakyat
He was replying to Marcus Majigoh (BN-Putatan) who asked Nazri if the government had carried out a study on what exactly attracts Chinese tourists to his constituency.
Marcus said he has observed a lot of Chinese tourists in Putatan.
Nazri continued they loved the beaches and hiking Mount Kinabalu.
“They have the money. They come here for shopping too. They can buy luxury goods as much as they want. Unlike Europe, Malaysia does not impose any limit on buying luxury items.”
“During winter, they visit Malaysia. They love the warmer climate here. We are working with the Bank of China for them to be a part of My Second Home.”
Earlier, he said the government is hoping to achieve its target of 2 million tourists from the present 1.14 million visitors .
The government has introduced e-visa and visa waiver programme since March 2016 to Dec 2017. Both allow Chinese nationals to stay in Malaysia for up to a month.