Local residents play with bubbles at Pantai Cenang in Langkawi on Sept 15, 2021, a day before the Malaysian holiday island is set to reopen to tourists following closures due to the pandemic. (PHOTO / AFP)
KUALA LUMPUR - As China's eight-day Golden Week holiday has started, Malaysia's tourism sector is eyeing increased arrivals to offset years of slow business due to pandemic disruptions.
Golden Week began on Sept 29 this year, marking the annual weeklong period that includes the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day in China.
Leong said Malaysia is facing stiff competition with other destinations and urged decision makers to implement policies that will improve the country's competitiveness
While arrivals remain below pre-pandemic levels, there has been a steady uptick of arrivals from the Chinese market, Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association Deputy President Mint Leong told Xinhua in an interview.
"Chinese tourists are returning to Malaysia in a slow and steady way because after the summer holiday in this Golden Week, we can see Chinese tourists coming to Malaysia, but the number is not as big as before. But they come and stay for at least five days and four nights. That's an improvement over shorter stays," she said.
Leong said Malaysia is facing stiff competition with other destinations and urged decision makers to implement policies that will improve the country's competitiveness as a destination such as visa-on-arrival and longer visa periods to attract travelers seeking extensive post-pandemic experiences.
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She added that it is important to act swiftly to take advantage of the influx of travelers from the Northern Hemisphere seeking to escape winter at the end of the year.
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