Boost for airlines, REITs as more tourists head for Malaysia

Writer: 
The Star / ANN
More tourists, especially from China, are heading to Malaysia according to Maybank Research.

KUALA LUMPUR: Total tourist arrivals to Malaysia this year could jump by over 4% on-year after airline bookings from China to Malaysia surged 72% on-year from March 16 to Aug 31, 2017.

This was after China discouraged its citizens from visiting South Korea, Maybank Investment Bank Research said on Thursday. 

“If we assume that Chinese tourist arrivals for the whole of 2017 grow by a narrower 50% on-year, we estimate that this will lift total tourist arrivals by 4% on-year. 

“This figure could be conservative as it has not accounted for recent promotional efforts by the government. 

“This development reinforces our positive view on the tourism industry,” the research house said in a note.

It said the direct beneficiaries to the positive growth in tourist arrivals whih it had existing BUY call on were MAHB, AirAsia, Genting Bhd, Al-Salam REIT, Sunway REIT and IGB REIT.

The China National Tourism Administration recently discouraged Chinese tours to South Korea in retaliation for the latter deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missile system.

Business intelligence group ForwardKeys reported that China to Malaysia airline bookings from March 16, 2017 to August 31, 2017 surged 72%,  and ranked Malaysia as the prime Asian beneficiary from the move by CNTA.

The research house said beneficiaries from higher tourist arrivals were the aviation (airlines, airport), hospitality (hotels, theme parks, casino) and consumer (retail, F&B) sectors.