Singapore picking up Chinese tourists
Updated: 2014-06-17 08:04
By Zheng Xin (China Daily)
As more Chinese tourists are deterred from traveling to traditionally popular destinations such as Malaysia and Vietnam, other East Asian countries are eyeing the world's biggest spenders.
Singapore - the neighbor of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, whose Chinese visitors have sharply decreased due to the anti-China violence and disturbances - is beefing up its local tourism promotion amid China's ever-expanding outbound tourism industry.
"Singapore has been seeing increasing Chinese visitors in the past few years, and we aim at attracting more tourists, because fewer are heading to other traditional East Asian destinations," said Derek Tay Hock Guan, managing director of Lex Travel Pte Ltd, a travel agency in Singapore.
Singapore, with its Chinese-friendly atmosphere, including the Chinese-speaking citizens, familiar food and road signs in Chinese everywhere, is thought to attract more visitors.
The Singapore tourism authority has also been actively cooperating with Chinese travel agencies, including Beijing-based Caissa Travel Agency, to better promote the tour packages in China.
Due to the negative impression of the disappearance on March 8 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Chinese visitors to Malaysia, a once popular destination, have drastically declined.
The anti-China violence in Vietnam and disturbances in the Philippines and Thailand have also given the other short-haul destinations, such as Singapore, a chance to attract more visitors from the biggest spenders on overseas travel.