SE Asia sees explosion of Beijing visitors in Q1


SOME destinations in South-east Asia saw arrivals from Beijing shoot through the roof in 1Q2016 amid heightened efforts to tap the Chinese market.

In 1Q2016, outbound traffic from Beijing to Vietnam, for example, was up 208.3 per cent to 22,531 while the Philippines received 12,624 visitors from the Chinese capital, a staggering 366.2 percent increase.

Malaysia also saw an improving trend, having rebounded from negative growth and welcoming a sustained level of Beijing visitors at 32,216 .

In line with plans to grow the educational product segment, the Philippine Department of Tourism is selling English as a Second Language (ESL) programmes to the Chinese market, said Genesis Raenani G Renos, administration officer with the Philippine Department of Tourism at the Beijing International Travel Expo last week.

She added: “(The Xiamen-Cebu route) which started in March 2016, regular charters in the summer for the Beijing-Cebu route, as well as the year-round Beijing-Borocay service are (also) set to spur demand.”

Similarly, in Malaysia, Air Asia is increasing its Beijing-Kuala Lumpur service from seven to 11 flights per week starting this summer. In July, Malaysia Airlines will roll out over 40 charter flights between Tianjin and Kota Kinabalu, said Tourism Malaysia’s tourism attache, Nor Aida Ismail.

Nor Aida added that the tourism board is looking to accelerate the pace of promotion by partnering with eight key local agencies and is working tactically with Air China after it resumed the Beijing-Kuala Lumpur service in late 2015 after many years.

Also with a view to tap the Chinese market, Hanoi Department of Tourism, deputy head of travel management division, Nguyen Huu Viet, said: “Apart from traffic via Chinese border crossings, we’d like to attract more air travel.”

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