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Friday, 13 July 2018

(The Star) KL-Guiyang direct flight route underway to boost tourism

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism traffic between Malaysia and China is expected to receive a boost with talks being planned with airlines to operate direct flights between Kuala Lumpur to Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, says Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Min­ister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.

He said the ministry planned to discuss a direct flight route between Kuala Lumpur and Guiyang with local and international airlines.

“We will talk to airlines such as China Southern Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo.

“Right now, there are no direct flights,” Muhammad Bakhtiar said after delivering a keynote speech at the A Colourful Guizhou promotion conference here yesterday.

A direct flight route between the two cities could open up tourism opportunities for both Malaysia and China, he said.

He said tourist arrivals from China to the country from January to April 2018 increased by 37.2% at 1.009 million arrivals compared to the same period last year.

He said the ministry hoped to tap into Guizhou’s 43 million-strong population for potential tourists to Malaysia with direct flights between the two cities.

He also said the Government was trying to make it more convenient for Chinese tourists to get visas into the country.

Guizhou Provincial Committee director-­general (Publicity Department) Mu Dugui, who also attended the event, said he hoped a direct flight route would be opened between the two cities so that tourism activities between China and Malaysia could be increased.

“We have a good transport system which helps connect the province to the outside world and with more air connectivity, we can increase our promotion of Guizhou,” he said.

Mu said currently, there were direct flights from Guizhou to three other South-East Asian cities, including Chiang Mai in Thailand.

He added that while Guizhou was a lesser-­known destination among Malaysians compared to other Chinese cities, he hoped that more promotion and a direct flight route could increase the province’s visibility among Malaysian tourists.

The conference was jointly organised by the Guizhou Provincial Committee and Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce.