LABUAN: Labuan will be flooded with the influx of Chinese tourists beginning July.
At least some 2,000 Chinese tourist arrivals per week and 8,000 per month from the country’s six major cities are expected to flock to the duty-free island and this will continue until December this year.
Labuan Member of Parliament Datuk Rozman Isli said the influx of the long-awaited Chinese arrivals with greater purchasing power would kick-start the island’s tourism industry and its economic base transformation.
“With everything in place, we expect the first flight carrying at least 146 to 160 Chinese tourists will arrive here on July 15 and this will continue until year-end,” he said at two business events — Engagement Session with Tourism Industry Players and launching of the 19th Malaysian Malay Chamber of Commerce Labuan Annual General Meeting here.
He said a Kuala Lumpur-based tour agent in collaboration with its Chinese counterpart had chosen Labuan for the huge influx of Chinese tourists and this augured well for the island’s tourism industry.
Rozman, who is also Labuan Corporation chairman, said the local authority had been preparing to welcome the Chinese tourist arrivals with improved facilities at its existing islands and attraction spots.
“Two months to go to prepare for the influx of the Chinese tourists, in terms of adequate accommodation in hotels, and cleanliness and hygiene in restaurants as well as security,” he said.
He said the China-based tour agent will be visiting the island on May 2 to witness first hand the island’s tourist attractions and facilities.
“Therefore, industry players, hoteliers, eateries and businesses must help in giving better first impression to the tour agents and the tourists,” he said.