Malaysia Tourism Hit Hard By China Travel Site Sales Halt

    As Malaysia continues to lose the business of Chinese tourists in the wake of the MH370 disappearance, Chinese e-booking sites such as Qunar and eLong have stopped selling Malaysia Airlines tickets altogether.
    A Malaysia Airlines plane at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. (Wikimedia Commons)
    Dennis SchaalAuthor
      Published   in Travel

    A Malaysia Airlines plane at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. (Wikimedia Commons)

    While some online travel agencies in China reportedly stopped selling Malaysia Airlines flights because of public anger against the airline and the slipshod manner in which the Malaysian government has handled the investigation of missing flight MH370, Qunar says it did so out of safety concerns.

    “We imposed a temporary ban on booking Malaysia Airlines through Qunar before the cause of the tragic MH370 incident is identified, out of consideration for Chinese consumers’ safety,” says Qunar spokesperson Jenna Qian.

    Beijing-based Qunar, a hybrid search and booking site that trades on Nasdaq, continues to sell other airlines flights to Malaysia.

    Meanwhile, Daodao, which is TripAdvisor’s review site in China, displays airfares for domestic flights only, and is primarily a trip-planning, and not a booking site.

    “We have not received any official notice from the [Chinese] government with regards to restricting sales or promotion of Malaysia Airlines tickets or other products relating to Malaysia tourism,” says TripAdvisor spokesperson Kevin Carter, referring to Daodao. “As we are a travel planning site rather than an online travel agency, we do not sell Malaysia Airline tickets on our site.”

    “We will wait to see if there are any government mandates before determining whether any adjustments to our services are required,” Carter says.

    While Ctrip, China’s largest travel site, reportedly continues to offer Malaysia Airlines flights, Expedia-owned eLong has stopped selling them, says Expedia spokesperson Kristy Nicholas.

    “Brand Expedia continues to make Malaysia Airlines tickets available for sale for those customers wanting to travel on the carrier,” Nicholas says. “Our hearts and thoughts remain with all those impacted by this terrible tragedy.”

    This article originally appeared on Skift, a Jing Daily content partner.#

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