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Published on : Friday, June 12, 2015
In a move to woo more of Chinese tourists to Malaysia, the tourism and culture ministry of Malaysia has urged the government to hasten the process of the proposed visa exemption for tourists from China.
Minister, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said between January and March this year, the number of tourist arrivals had dropped 8.6 per cent to 6.5 million arrivals from 7.1 million in the same period last year.
“Visa is among the main factors for this decline, mainly tourists from China.
“Malaysia needs to follow Indonesia and Thailand, which have abolished visa for tourists from China,” he said when replying to a question from lawmaker, Mahfuz Omar in the Parliament.
Mahfuz had wanted to know the number of tourist arrivals from January to March this year, as compared to last year.
Mohamed Nazri said the proposal was also to help the ministry to achieve its target of 29.4 million tourist arrivals this year.
He said for the first three months of this year, Malaysia only received 350,000 Chinese tourists, whereas Thailand had received two million tourists from China.
“I have already raised (the issue) in the Cabinet (meeting), the home ministry has been instructed to prepare a Cabinet paper to waive visa fees for a year, we will see, if ok, we will go on,” he added.
He said the tourism and culture ministry had failed to meet the 2014 target of 28 million when there were only 27.4 million tourist arrivals.