Wednesday, September 16, 2009

China inbound drought hits Malaysian agents

MALAYSIAN travel agents big on China inbound are expecting a 20 to 30 per cent year-on-year drop in arrivals during China's National Day/Golden Week celebration from October 1 to 7. They attribute the decline to regional competition and the A/H1N1 pandemic, which has led China to impose strict quarantine measures for students and the general avoidance of overseas travel.

Traditionally, this travel period sees between six to eight charters from China to Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang, but so far, only two charters from Shanghai to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah have been confirmed.

Many five-star hotels in Sabah are fighting to remain competitive by not imposing a surcharge this year.

Nexus Resort Karambunai director of sales & marketing Brendan Wong said: "China is a very price-sensitive market and removing the traditional surcharge will help us remain competitive."

Travel agents are also fighting for market share by lowering their tour fares. Three Star Holidays managing director Bernard Low said his group series tour fares had been reduced by five to 10 per cent compared to 2008.

Source : TTG
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