Numerous mainland travel agencies are reporting major declines in the number of Chinese booking trips to Malaysia, reports the South China Morning Post.
“In the two weeks after the incident, we have seen the number of clients from northern China going to Malaysia declining 50 percent compared with the same period last year, including group and independent travelers,” said Dun Jidong, a senior marketing manager at Ctrip.com, China’s largest travel booking website.
Prompted by celebrities, many mainlanders are going as far as calling for boycotts of the location as questions continue to grow around the case of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Three major travel agencies -- China International Travel Service, China Youth Travel Service and BTG International Travel and Tours -- have all reported declines. “The impact has spread to most destinations in Southeast Asia,” said a travel agent with China International who declined to be named. “Many of our travel packages include Malaysia and Thailand and people are reluctant to go there not only because of the missing plane, but also Thailand’s political turmoil.”
Some resort locations claim to have experienced no changes in overall business, according to the Post. But Luo Juan, a senior analyst with market research company Forward Information, predicted Chinese arrivals would drop by as much as 20 to 40 percent this year. That number represents 400,000 to 800,000 tourists out of the 1.79 million Chinese that visited the country in 2013.