Though the mystery behind the disappearance of a Malaysian airline is yet to be solved, the tourist flow from India to Malaysia is steady with only a few cancellation of airline tickets.
Though there were reports that the tourism industry in Malaysia was badly hit and there were 25 per cent cancellations, the daily flight from Kerala is operating with full capacity. As the summer season has started, the bookings to this tourism destination have also increased.
Paulose K Mathew, chairman, Travel Agencies Federation of India (Kerala), said that the issue of the missing airline had not made much impact in the country. There is a daily flight from Kochi to Malaysia and any drastic cancellation of tickets has not been observed.
“The Malaysian airlines has 159 seats, of which 144 are economy and 15 business class. Even after the airline missing incident, the flight was operating at its full capacity,” Paulose said.
During the summer season, the bookings to Malaysia has increased with almost 80 per cent of the tickets reserved much in advance. Those who had planned their trips earlier were able to get the tickets at much cheaper rates, he added.
Great India Tour company chairman E M Najeeb, who is also the president of Confederation of Kerala Tour Industry, said that the summer bookings are at its peak. There are no reports that there will be any decline in tourist flow from India.
“This season, the majority of Keralites preferred a one-week holiday in Malaysia. The trend shows that more bookings can be expected in the coming days,” he said.
Paulose said that around 12 per cent of the tourist arrivals to Malaysia are from China.
Following the incident, there may be a negative growth from that country, he said. Malaysian officials have cleared the doubts of the domestic market stating that other airlines too are operating to their country. The tragedy of the Malaysia Airlines is not likely to affect the industry, they added.
Already Malaysia had designated 2014 as ‘Visit Malaysia Year’ where tourism is the sixth-largest contributor to the economy.