A partnership between Tourism Malaysia and Singapore Airlines (SIA) will help to bring in more Chinese tourists to Malaysia, says Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
He said the collaboration would enable the Malaysian Government to achieve its target of attracting four million Chinese tourists this year, with tourist receipts of about RM11 billion.
Last year, Malaysia attracted 1.64 million Chinese tourists.
"The collaboration with SIA is because the carrier has a huge international network and we have requests from Sabah and Sarawak on bringing tourists without many transit points," he told reporters after a dinner meeting with about 100 Malaysian students in Beijing here today.
Mohamed Nazri said the partnership also enabled Tourism Malaysia to tap SilkAir's network, the regional wing of SIA which currently operated to 49 destinations across 13 countries in Asia.
He said SilkAir flew to Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and also main cities in the Peninsular namely Langkawi and Penang, adding the partnership would benefit Malaysia's tourism industry.
Tourism Malaysia will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore air carrier in Berlin, likely on March 8.
Mohamed Nazri said the partnership was needed as Malaysia Airlines had closed its routes in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Istanbul and Dubai, adding it would also reduce transit points for tourists planning to visit Malaysia.