Malaysia Launches ‘Mega Sale Carnival’ to Attract Chinese Luxury Shoppers

    Malaysia hopes to attract Chinese luxury shoppers with a luxury sales event supported by retailers and the local tourism authorities.
    Malaysia aims to boost tourists' luxury shopping with a summer sales event. (Alang Zabidi/
    Daniel MeesakAuthor
      Published   in Finance

    Affordable luxury shopping in an exotic destination is what Malaysia is betting on to attract affluent Chinese tourists to its shores during the summer travel season. The 'Malaysia Mega Sale – Luxury Shopping Experience Campaign' is bringing tourism authorities and shopping attractions together to make a joint bid for Chinese big spenders’ wallets in the competitive summer season.

    The campaign is the result of the Malaysian government’s efforts to promote Malaysia as a shopping haven for tourists looking for high-end luxury goods, an effort that has coincided with a rapid growth of Chinese tourists visiting the Southeast Asian destination. The campaign also coincides with the Malaysian sale season, an annual national sale held between June 15 and August 31.

    Among the stakeholders in the campaign are the Malaysian government, the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping mall, and high-end retailer The Melium Group, who are jointly promoting the shopping event on the global scale.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Chinese tourists represent the most important customer segment for luxury retailers in Malaysia—outspending all other customer groups in Malaysia’s luxury shopping segment. Malaysia, which has liberalized its visa policy for Chinese tourists, is an increasingly popular destination for Chinese travelers. In 2016, 2.1 million Chinese tourists visited the country, a number the Malaysian government hopes will grow to 3 million Chinese visitors in 2017.

    “Based on a report on the Tourism Refund Scheme, 43 percent of the tourist expenditure is on watches and jewelry, which are considered as luxury items. Chinese tourists are the largest spenders on these items, followed by Singaporeans, Indonesians, Indians, and Bangladeshis. All this gives an indication of the growth and potential of luxury shopping and luxury tourism, with markets in Asia leading the way as high retails spenders,” YBhg. Datuk Hj. Ab. Ghaffar bin A. Tambi, the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia Secretary General said in a speech at the Kuala Lumpur campaign launch event.

    Just across the Johor-Singapore Causeway, Singapore is holding a similar shopping event—The Great Singapore Sale—which also vies to attract big-spenders in the region to retailers in Singapore. Organized by the Singapore Retailers Association in collaboration with Visit Singapore and China’s UnionPay, The Great Singapore Sale serves a formidable competitor for the Malaysia Mega Sale—both hoping that their sales will generate increased visitation and shopping among important customer segments.

    “With our duty-free status, we can capitalize on the luxury tourist shoppers market as luxury brand prices in Malaysia are within an average of 25 percent lower than in some other countries and with GST tax refund, our luxury brands prices are more attractive. On top of that, Malaysia now has an impressive range of international luxury fashion brands,” The Melium Group President Dato’ Seri Farah Khan said at the event.

    With a growing number of shopping events popping up around the world, each promoting deep discounts and generous tax refund policies, finding a suitable shopping destination has never been easier for China’s big-spending luxury tourists.

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