News / Economy

Chinese Tourists, Angry Over Missing Plane, Shun Malaysia

Catering service trucks (R) load inflight supplies onto Malaysia Airlines aircraft at Kuala Lumpur Intenational Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, March 25, 2014.
Catering service trucks (R) load inflight supplies onto Malaysia Airlines aircraft at Kuala Lumpur Intenational Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, March 25, 2014.
Reuters
— The controversy surrounding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has prompted many Chinese tourists, who once saw Malaysia as an attractive holiday destination, to look elsewhere, travel agents said on Tuesday.
 
Eleven Chinese travel agents told Reuters that bookings between China and Malaysia had fallen severely, and that many people have canceled their trips, amid anger at the perceived lack of information provided by the Malaysian government to passengers' families.
 
“We used to have 30 to 40 customers a month for group tours to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Now there is no one asking about this route or booking,” a travel agent surnamed Chen told Reuters by telephone.
 
“Tourists don't even consider going there. Many also have a negative impression of the country now,” said Chen with Comfort Travel, in the southern city of Guangzhou, which focuses heavily on Southeast Asia tours.
 
Family members of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 shout slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.Family members of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 shout slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.
x
Family members of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 shout slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.
Family members of passengers on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 shout slogans during a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, March 25, 2014.
In Beijing, angry relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing plane protested on Tuesday outside the Malaysian Embassy, demanding an explanation from the airline and accusing the government in Kuala Lumpur of “delays and deception”.
 
Flight MH370, with 239 people on board, vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after take-off on March 8 on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Most of the passengers were Chinese.
 
“The Malaysian government deliberately delayed publicizing real information about the flight. We should punish this completely irresponsible attitude and boycott Malaysian tourism,” said a user of Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
 
“Originally I was considering traveling in Malaysia this year, now I think their country is so disgusting,” wrote another microblogger. “They lied to everyone for half a month.”
 
The slowdown in Chinese travel could hurt Malaysia's goal of boosting tourism, though the impact on the economy may be limited. Chinese tourist arrivals account for about 12 percent of Malaysia's total tourists and 0.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note.
 
Malaysia has targeted 28 million tourists this year and 76 billion ringgit ($23 billion) in receipts.
 
Some Chinese travel agencies have canceled group trips to Malaysia and stopped promoting cut-price tickets for fear of angering customers.
 
“The Malaysia Airlines incident involves national sentiment. If we go against the trend now, I'm afraid it will be provocative,” said a travel agent surnamed Xu with another firm.
 
According to an online poll on Sina's news website, 77.5 percent of more than 21,000 participants said the MH370 furore would influence their decision on traveling in Malaysia.
 
Malaysian Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz said on Monday that “Visit Malaysia Year” roadshows in China would be halted until the MH370 case is closed.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.