The number of tourists from China could rise to 380,000 this year following several airline companies’ willingness to operate direct flights between various destinations in the republic and the resort island.
State Religious, Tourism and Heritage, and Public Works Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid said the increase would be threefold from the 127,689 Chinese tourists visiting Langkawi last year.
“The direct flights could help further promote Langkawi as a choice destination among tourists from China,” he told reporters after leading a welcoming ceremony for tourists on a China Southern Airlines first direct flight from Guangzhou yesterday.
He said China was among the five countries contributing to the highest number of tourists to Malaysia, with Langkawi being one of the most popular destinations for tourists from the republic.
“The historical ties between Kedah and China will also be revived with these direct flights to Langkawi,” he said.
Meanwhile, China Southern Airlines GM Eric Wang said Langkawi is the fourth destination in Malaysia for the company to operate direct flights after Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Penang.
He said the choice of Langkawi as the airlines’ latest destination was based on the popularity of this resort island among the Chinese population in Guangzhou who wished to visit Malaysia.
He added that the direct flights on the airlines’ Airbus 320 could carry 250 passengers at any one time.
Direct flights from Guangzhou to Langkawi are scheduled three times a week starting yesterday. — Bernama