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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9118
JPY
USD
124.31
GBP
USD
0.6420
CAD
USD
1.3048
INR
USD
64.136

Rates may not be current.