The 29th SEA Games, which is taking place in Kuala Lumpur from August 19 to 31, has boosted regional traffic into the capital city and its surrounding destinations, said inbound agents in Malaysia.
S Jayakumar, operations manager at Dayangti Transport & Tours, observed an increase of 15 to 20 per cent in regional inbound demand during the SEA Games period, mainly from Indonesia and the Philippines.
He said: “We are getting bookings from family members and supporters of foreign athletes. There are also requests for sightseeing tours around the city, Resorts World Genting and visits to Sunway Lagoon theme park in Selangor.”
Syed Mohd Razif Al Yahya, group managing director of Sutra Group of Companies, added: “We have seen a 20 per cent spike in bookings made from ASEAN nations through our online booking engine, Sutra.my, during the SEA Games. Bookings are for hotel rooms within the city and surrounding areas, as well as for tours in Langkawi.”
Another inbound operator, Arokia Das, senior manager at Luxury Tours Malaysia, said inbound business from Indonesia this month climbed 12 per cent. He said the uptick in business started a few days before the games until the first week of September. Besides transport services to the competition venues, the company is also seeing demand for city tours, as well as trips to Melaka, Genting and Sunway Lagoon.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture expects a 50 per cent spike in tourist arrivals from ASEAN countries this month over the 1.7 million visitors in the corresponding 2016 period due to the SEA Games, reported Bernama.