Published on : Thursday, March 23, 2017
Travel And Tour World spoke to M Nazri, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia at ITB Berlin. He spoke about the current tourism scenario in Malaysia, including the Government of Malaysia’s initiative of introducing e-visa for Indian tourists.
Travel And Tour World: Can you tell us about some exciting things coming up in the next few months in Malaysia?
M Nazri: We need brand new tourism products and plans.
Last time, we had celebrated 50th anniversary and due to that all the 10 countries in Malaysia had been organizing tour packages for visiting two or three countries in this region. Singapore Airlines had cooperated with us in making this possible. Therefore tourists might just fly directly to Singapore before proceeding to the various parks of Malaysia like Borneo Park, Peninsula. From Singapore, one might head towards Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Balu, Kuchi and so on.
This year Malaysia was awarded the right to have sea games in Kuala Lumpur where all the ten nations can compete in various sports, so it is yet another tourist attraction.
Recently, Malaysia has announced that Indian tourists can visit here just by applying for an e-visa for US$20. They would be able to obtain their visa within 48 hours of application and without paying any fees and reside here for 15 days. We expect that it would usher in about 1 million Indian tourists by 2017.
Also, we have Fox theme park, and this is the first Fox theme park in Asia. It is going to be ready by the fifth quarter of 2017.
And, since UNWTO has declared 2017 as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism, Malaysia is keen on promoting eco tourism and its diversity in flora, fauna and wildlife. We also have homestays that are well-preserved and offer great security as well as quality.
Travel And Tour World: Can you tell us about your nation’s association with islands?
M Nazri: We are now in the process of making a decision by the state government to allow investors to come to Malaysia and invest in one of the 99 islands in Malaysia, the same way as it is followed in the Maldives. In Maldives every atoll is offered to investors who invest in hotels and they have exclusive views of the atolls.
The government has passed a policy decision wherein foreign investors can own 100% equity and this is another incentive for investors to come to Malaysia. We hope investors will take up this offer to lease one of the 99 islands.