Fig­ure in­cludes Sea Games, Asean Para Games ath­letes, of­fi­cial and fans

New Straits Times - - News | Nation - AMIR HISYAM RASID KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

MALAYSIA Air­ports Hold­ings Bhd (MAHB) ex­pects to re­ceive 10,000 ad­di­tional ar­rivals within this month and next month.

The fig­ure in­cludes ath­letes, of­fi­cials and sup­port­ers from the 11 coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Sea Games and Asean Para Games.

While the num­ber is not as high as the 70,000 vis­i­tors that it re­ceives daily, the ar­rivals for the Sea Games will be a test for the air­port op­er­a­tor be­fore it re­ceives an­other eight mil­lion Chi­nese tourists by 2020.

Its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Datuk Badlisham Ghaz­ali, said the Kuala Lumpur In­ter­na­tional Air­port (KLIA) and klia2 were un­der­go­ing a re­vamp and putting in mea­sures to ease con­ges­tion to ac­com­mo­date the higher-thanusual vis­i­tor num­bers.

“Ar­rivals are ex­pected to peak be­tween Aug 14 and 19 for the Sea Games, and be­tween Sept 10 and 24 for the Asean Para Games.

“We will pro­vide fa­cil­i­ta­tion for the ar­rival, as well as de­par­ture flows.

“For ex­am­ple, booths are placed at ter­mi­nals to pro­vide the con­tin­gents with in­for­ma­tion. Sev­eral Im­mi­gra­tion coun­ters will be ded­i­cated to process the con­tin­gents. There will be 300 staff vol­un­teers to wel­come our vis­i­tors,” he said here yes­ter­day.

“MAHB is col­lab­o­rat­ing with the KL2017 Malaysia Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee, De­part­ment of Im­mi­gra­tion KLIA and other or­gan­i­sa­tions to make our vis­i­tors’ ar­rival at the air­port a joy­ful one,” he added.

MAHB will be adopt­ing a sim­i­lar ap­proach in wel­com­ing Chi­nese tourists, first of whom will be ar­riv­ing in the mid­dle of next month for China’s Golden Week.

Golden Week is con­sid­ered the coun­try’s big­gest an­nual na­tional hol­i­day as all work­ers are given three days of paid leave.

Badlisham said a Man­darin­speak­ing helpdesk would op­er­ate from 5pm to 1am to pro­vide op­er­a­tional and di­rec­tional as­sis­tance to Chi­nese tourists.

The ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion plan is un­der way, in­clud­ing adding staff and greater au­to­ma­tion.

“We are look­ing into data an­a­lyt­ics, as well as big data to as­sist in han­dling the grow­ing pas­sen­ger traf­fic,” Badlisham added.

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