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Young Chinese tourists flocking to M'sia despite 'inauspicious' month
Publication Date : 20-08-2013
Despite the Chinese belief that it is a bad time to travel during the Hungry Ghost month, many young travellers from China still flock to Johor in south peninsular Malaysia, keeping the state government’s target to increase tourists from there on track.
“The target to increase the number of Chinese tourists in the state this year is very much on track, as tourists are still thronging destinations around the state,” said Johor Domestic Trade, Tourism and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Tee Siew Kiong.
He said the state government had been focusing to tap China’s growing tourist market as Johor received about 1.1 million Chinese tourists last year.
“There was a slight decrease in the number of Singaporean tourists during this period,” he said, referring to the Hungry Ghost month, generally regarded to be an inauspicious month for the Chinese to plan for any "hei" (Cantonese for auspicious) events such as weddings and holidays.
Malaysia Tour Guides Council president Jimmy Leong said bookings for domestic and international tours and holiday trips also had not been affected.
“Bookings during the Hungry Ghost month have been steadily increasing yearly compared to previous years, as the belief is no longer observed by most of the young travellers,” he said.
Leong added that it was a Chinese belief that there were higher chances of mishaps during this period due to wandering “mischievous spirits”.
“Business is as usual as tourists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and even Singapore are still flocking into the country for vacations,” he said.
He added that many younger travellers would book their travels and grab the opportunity to go for a holiday as long as there were good deals.