Malaysian arrivals to Japan up despite limited direct air access
MALAYSIA arrivals to Japan grew 85.2 per cent to reach 10,300 in May over the same month last year, making the country Japan's second top source market after China.
Corporate incentives and leisure segments were said to be strongest out of Malaysia.
The growth came despite limited direct air services between Malaysia and Japan. Only Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines fly direct from Kuala Lumpur to various cities in Japan.
Japan National Tourism Organization Singapore Office assistant manager Susan Ong said: "Flights out of Malaysia to Japan will not be sufficient during the year-end peak season. We would probably see more Malaysians living near Singapore catching direct flights to Japan out of Singapore when major Japan-bound carriers, like All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines, start new direct services to Haneda Airport from October."
Travel agents in Johor state, which sits closest to Singapore, said capacity to Japan was a problem during the last quarter of the year, especially in December.
Sri America Travel (Johor) regional manager for southern region Catherine Lim said: "When there are no seats available from Singapore, we stop selling Japan. Leisure travellers from Johor find it too troublesome to fly out from Kuala Lumpur."
(Sources: Karen Yue, TTGAsia)
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