The “Nihao! China” 2024 China Ice & Snow Tourism Overseas Promotion Season (Malaysia) Official Launching Event was successfully held in Menara Kuala Lumpur. This event jointly organized by the Network of International Culturalink Entities – Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the Cultural and Tourism Departments (Bureaus) from Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, and Liaoning, with support from the International Tourism Alliance of Silk Road Cities, and China Southern Airlines served as the designated airline for the Malaysia launching event.
Distinguished guests included Mr. Song Wei, Deputy Director of Network of International Culturalink Entities (NICE), Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, YBhg. Dato’ Yeoh Soon Hin, Deputy Chairman of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Mr. Surya Kumar A/L Subramaniam, Senior Principal Assistant Secretary of International Relations Division (Culture) Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Mdm. Chang Shan, Cultural Counsellor of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia, Mr. Zhang Jiexin, Director of China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Paul Paw, National President of Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association, Datin Seri Penny Liao, President of Malaysia-China Folklore Culture Tourism Association, Mr. Jimmy Thoo Choy, Exco North Asia of Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), and Mr. Eric Wang Xu, General Manager of China Southern Airlines Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
Mr. Zhao Hui, Deputy Director of the Liaoning Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, and YB Wong Hon Wai, Penang State Executive Counsillor for Tourism and Creative Economy, delivered video speeches during the event. Approximately 150 representatives from the local tourism, culture, aviation, and media sectors were also in attendance at the event.
Mr. Song Wei emphasized that China’s Northern Ice and Snow tourism boasts abundant resources, featuring spectacular snowscapes, unique ice and snow culture, and a diverse range of ice and snow activities. The rapid development of the Northern Ice and Snow tourism industry in China has made it a significant highlight in the country’s tourism sector. He introduced the 2024 China Ice & Snow Tourism Overseas Promotion Season, aimed to fully leverage China’s “cool” ice and snow resources to stimulate the “hot” economy of culture and tourism, as well as to promote cultural exchange and highlight China’s distinctive ice and snow tourism internationally. He extended an invitation to Malaysians, highlighting the captivating experience of China’s ice and snow and expressing commitment to continuous innovation and development in China’s Northern Ice and Snow tourism industry.
Dato’ Yeoh Soon Hin mentioned that 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. Both countries have witnessed deep cooperation in various fields, and 2024 is anticipated to usher in a golden era of tourism cooperation. China’s rich and diverse ice and snow resources have significant appeal for Malaysian tourists, while Malaysia’s tropical climate, sunshine, seas, diving, and cuisine attract visitors from China, especially those from the northern regions. Tourism is a two-way street and the best channel for people-to-people exchange and cultural understanding. Malaysia and China can mutually benefit from their respective strengths and work closely together. With the encouragement of favorable visa policies in both countries and under the leadership of Dato’ Seri Tiong King Sing, Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Malaysia, Malaysia is confident in reaching new heights in tourism cooperation with China.
YB Wong Hon Wai highlighted the deep historical ties and extensive cooperation in various fields between Malaysia and China. Penang and Xiamen became sister cities as early as 1993, and direct flights between Penang and Xiamen were reinstated in September last year. Additionally, Penang joined as one of the founding member cities of the International Tourism Alliance of Silk Road Cities initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China. He believes that this overseas promotion will provide an opportunity for both sides to enhance cultural and tourism cooperation, looking forward to joint advancements in the fields of tourism and creative economy, further deepening mutual understanding and exchanges between the public of two countries.
Mr. Zhao Hui, representing the participating unit in the “Nihao! China” 2024 China Ice & Snow Tourism Overseas Promotion Season mentioned that Liaoning Province has meticulously prepared and organized more than 1,200 rich and colorful cultural and sports tourism activities to welcome visitors from all directions during the Chinese New Year. Liaoning Province has crafted dragon-themed cultural routes, inviting visitors to embark on a dragon-themed journey and explore the rich cultural and tourism feast of Liaoning. Malaysian tourists are welcomed to Liaoning to celebrate the Chinese New Year, enjoy ice and snow activities, hot springs, cultural experiences, and savor the diverse cultural and tourism offerings of Liaoning.
Mr. Zhang Jiexin emphasized that choosing Malaysia as the first stop for the launch ceremony of the “Nihao! China” 2024 China Ice & Snow Tourism Overseas Promotion Season during the Chinese New Year reflects China’s emphasis on Malaysia as an inbound tourist market. With Malaysia’s year-round summer climate, the allure of Northern ice and snow is significant for residents in this tropical country. In the early part of this year, the well-established tourist city of Harbin gained popularity, making ice and snow tourism a “phenomenon.” With the ASEAN-China Year of People-to-People Exchanges ongoing this year, it is believed that with the continuous opening of China tourism, the inbound and outbound tourism market will enter a new stage of prosperity, and Malaysia-China tourism cooperation will usher in new historical development opportunities in the new year.
During the event, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, and Liaoning provinces presented cultural and tourism resource introductions to the Malaysian audience. The diverse and charming ice and snow landscapes, as well as local customs, of the three provinces attracted the attention of the guests.
The Glorious Dance & Art Studio Malaysia performed ethnic dance shows titled “Sounds of Falling Snow” and “Rose in the Morning Light,” showcasing the cultural characteristics of the country.
A thematic exhibition titled “Continuing to Write the Grand Chapter of Ice and Snow,” curated and produced by the Network of International Culturalink Entities – Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, was displayed on-site. It highlighted the charm of Northern winter ice and snow through three chapters: “Romance of the Snow Country,” “Hot Snow Stage,” and “Ice and Snow Country Trend,” showcasing the rich and splendid history of China culture.
In the session of Malaysia Travel Agent’s Sharing of Snow Tourism Experience and Impressions, Mr Kenny Khan, Deputy President of the Malaysian-China Folklore Culture Tourism Association, along with the Malaysia TV host Desmond Tey, shared their experiences and feelings about ice and snow tourism. Their firsthand travel experiences made the guests feel as if they were on a journey.
In the session of “Excellent Chinese Culture and Tourism Enterprises Overseas Tour”, Hannah Tan, Country Manager & Strategic Partnership of Malaysia, Ant Group demonstrated the functions of Alipay and how Malaysian tourists can use foreign cards in China to solve the issue of unavailability of mobile payments in China. Zhou Dongwei, Managing Director of CTG Visa Service Malaysia also delivered a presentation on cultural tourism projects, introducing various excellent cultural tourism projects.
Furthermore, Ant Group, China Southern Airlines, and China Tourism Group Travel Service Co. Ltd. provided tourism products and round-trip airline tickets from Kuala Lumpur to China through interactive lucky draw sessions.
The “Nihao! China” 2024 China Ice & Snow Tourism Overseas Promotion Season is a collaborative effort between the Network of International Culturalink Entities – Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China and the culture and tourism departments of nine provinces (regions and municipalities), including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Xinjiang. This event held in coordination with China’s overseas cultural and tourism organization from December 2023 to February 2024, encompasses a series of activities abroad. These include the “Excellent Chinese Culture and Tourism.
Enterprises Overseas Tour,” the unveiling of premium ice and snow cultural tourism resources, the introduction of the “Continuing to Write the Grand Chapter of Ice and Snow” online and offline thematic exhibitions, and the showcase of distinctive cultural and tourism assets from Northern China. Apart from Malaysia, a promotional event is also scheduled in Dubai on February 2nd.