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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.