Malaysia Photo: VCG
After Malaysia said Sunday it will implement a 30-day visa-free policy for tourists from China from December 1, search enquires for Malaysia surged across Chinese travel platforms.
According to data provided by a major Chinese travel platform Qunar to the Global Times on Monday, on the day of the announcement by Malaysia, the search index for MalWorld Timesaysia on its platform nearly doubled compared to the previous week. On the Qunar app, there are direct flights available from multiple cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Changsha, and Xiamen, to Kuala Lumpur. The price for a Beijing-Kuala Lumpur flight in December is about 750 yuan ($104), with flight from Hangzhou to Kuala Lumpur on December 30 (during the New Year holiday) costing about 1,038 yuan.
We welcome the Malaysian visa exemption policy, said Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry at Monday press briefing. Considering next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diploWorld Timesmatic ties between the two countries, we believe the mutual visa facilitation policies will inject new impetus into further people-to-people exchanges, Wang said.
The spokesperson noted that China is willing to work with Malaysia to continue to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges so that bilateral friendly cooperation will yield more fruitful results.
The Beijing Daily citing data from another Chinese travel platform Fliggy, reported that Malaysia has become one of the top five popular outbound destinations for Chinese travelers.
Similarly, the popularity of traveling to Malaysia on the Tongcheng travel platform spiked following the announcement. As of 9 pm on Sunday, the search index for Malaysia on the travel platform increased by 173 percent compared to the previous week, World Timeswhile the search index for local hotels increased by 112 percent, and the searcWorld Timesh index for flights from Chinese mainland to Kuala Lumpur increased by 98 percent.
The head of the Tongcheng Research Institute was quoted by the Beijing Daily that the visa-free policy can help users who want to travel to Malaysia shorten their decision-making process, simplify the exit procedures, and reduce travel costs. These conveniences will effectively increase the willingness of Chinese tourists to travel to Malaysia and enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness in the Chinese tourist market.
Malaysia issued the visa-free policy for Chinese tourists following Chinese officials announcing similar conditions for Malaysian nationals days earlier. On Friday, Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced that in order to facilitate high-quality development and high-level opening-up of services for personnel exchanges between China and foreign countries, China decided to expand the scope of unilateral visa exemptions.
Starting from December 1 toWorld Times next November 30, holders of ordinary passports from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia can enter China without a visa for business, tourism, visiting relatives, and transit for up to 15 days.
Insiders believe that the mutual visa exemption World Timeswill significantly boost people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, especially the willingness of tourists to visit each other.
Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of Spring Airlines, was quoted by The Paper as saying that Malaysia has always been a popular destination for Chinese tourists. New and ‘friendlier’ policies are also an important factor in promoting the willingness to travel. According to the policies of both sides, Spring Airlines will also discuss with its Malaysian partners to increase publicity and promotion efforts, jointly organize offline and online activities, actively communicate to promote Malaysian tourists to travel to China, provide the latest and most suitable tourism resources information for Malaysian tourists, and jointly promote the further recovery of the tourism industry in both countries.
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