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ASEAN launches travel portal to attract Chinese tourists

February 1, 20243 minute read
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A new initiative to attract Chinese tourists to return to ASEAN, launched the Southeast Asia tourism Chinese website at at the region’s recent tourism forum in Laos. The dedicated  platform, aimed at attracting Chinese visitors, offers pre-trip guides to help travellers plan their travel and choose from a wide range of attractions.

The new portal, an initiative under the 2025 Connectivity Master Plan, has the support of the Chinese government. With recent visa-free entry agreements in place with China, travellers will have greater flexibility to move around. Malaysia has waived visa requirements for Chinese travellers until 31st Dec 31 2024 and Thailand has recently inked an agreement with China to mutually offer visa-free travel from March 2024.

The Asean Secretariat, in a statement reported by Bernama, identified the goals of the website as boosting tourism, stimulating economic growth and promoting mutual understanding between ASEAN and China.

…. The year 2024 is an opportune moment for the website as it coincides with the ASEAN-China Year of People-to-People Exchanges.

The website is a comprehensive guide to exploring the 10 ASEAN member destinations in Southeast Asia, with diverse travel information and product offerings covering all ASEAN -member states.

Variety to attract Chinese tourists

The website highlights several key attractions in each country, showing the range of different experiences from mountain climbing to diving, modern buildings and traditional villages beaches, relaxing and shopping. Most of the countries with a colonial past have unique cities and architecture and the many different religions across the region showcases large and small, simple and ornate temples, mosques and churches.

In Malaysia, Malacca (Melaka), a Unesco World Heritage Site, is known for its historical and cultural richness. It’s also a very walkable city and home to the oldest Chinese temple in South East Asia.

Chinese tourists
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Melaka

In Laos, easily reached via train direct from Kunming, stop off at Luang Prabang before continuing on to the Capital, Vientiane.

Favourite places revisited
Swimming at the Tad Sae waterfall close to Luang Prabang

Or who would miss an overnight trip out of Hanoi to enjoy the cool weather of Sapa or the beauty of Ha Long Bay? Or just join the locals enjoying their morning exercise around the Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

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Morning exercise with swords around the Hoàn Kiếm Lake

Every country is unique and these are but a few of the travel ideas on offer. China ranks as the fourth largest tourist source for Malaysia, and the country is targeting 5 million Chinese tourists this year, an increase from the 1.5 million in 2023. They are looking to grow this back to pre – Covid-19 pandemic numbers of around 3.7 million Chinese tourists.

Chinese tourists
The countries of ASEAN
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