PUTRAJAYA, 30 AUGUST 2019: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi has led a delegation comprising of 29 Malaysian organisations to participate in the China International Tourism Industry Expo 2019 (CITIE 2019) in Guangzhou, China from today till September 1, 2019.

During the three-day event, he was accompanied by the Tourism Malaysia Director General, Datuk Musa Hj. Yusof, Tourism Malaysia Chairman Datuk Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau and also Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry Deputy Secretary General Dato’ Haslina binti Abdul Hamid.

The participation in CITIE 2019 is in line with Tourism Malaysia’s continuous efforts to publicise the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign and Malaysia-China Year of Culture and Tourism 2020 to the travel and tourism industry players in China particularly in southern province of the nation.

CITIE is China’s largest comprehensive international tourism exhibition that will see the participation of more than 3,000 exhibitors from 60 countries with 500,000 visitors.

Since its inception in 2005, the key objectives of CITIE is to offer a professional platform for international tourism industry players to network, share information as well as develop their business, with focus on both business to business (B2B) and business to consumers (B2C) segment, networking receptions and tourism product presentations.

As Malaysia is the Guest Country of Honour for CITIE 2019, Datuk Mohamaddin delivered his keynote address during the grand opening of the event and officiated the Malaysia Pavilion at the exhibition hall today. He is also scheduled to meet several major travel and tourism industry players in Guangzhou.

Visitors to the Malaysia Pavilion will be entertained by traditional dancing performances by Bridged Seni Melaka, a cultural dance group from Malaysia and witness “teh tarik” demonstration.

The Malaysian delegation comprises a good mix of hotels and resorts, travel agents, tourism product owners, airline, tourism associations and representatives from tourism authorities as well as state tourism boards.

The VM2020 campaign has set the target to attract 30 million international tourist arrivals and RM100 billion in tourist receipts. Through its participation in CITIE, Tourism Malaysia seeks to attract more Chinese tourists to Malaysia to achieve its tourism target for 2019. Tourism revenue generated from Chinese tourists in 2018 was RM12.3 billion (estimate of RMB19 billion), accounting for 14% of total tourism revenue for Malaysia.

For the first half of 2019, tourist arrivals from China to Malaysia registered a total of 1.55 million tourists compared with 1.46 million tourists for the same period of 2018, an increase of 6.4%. Last year, Malaysia welcomed 2.94 million Chinese tourists in the country.