After Botched Flight 370 Response, Malaysia Needs to Woo Angry Chinese Tourists

A relative of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 waits for news in Beijing Photograph by Andy Wong/AP Photo

As the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues, will tourists worried about safety and the botched handling of the crisis by Malaysian officials stay away from the country? A lot depends on how much longer until the search effort locates the plane, says David Scowsill, president and chief executive officer of the World Travel and Tourism Council, a trade association representing airlines, hotel chains, car rental companies, cruise ship operators, and travel agents. Getting the story of Flight 370 out of the headlines should help Malaysia’s industry rebound, he argues. “Once we understand what has happened, then life will move on,” Scowsill says. “It will quickly disappear from people’s psyche.”

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