Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (pic) is expected to propose the waiving of visa charges for Chinese tourists to attract more tourists from China to visit Malaysia next year in conjunction with the Malaysia Year of Festival 2015 (MyFest 2015).
He said the move aimed to help achieve the target of attracting 29.4 million tourist arrivals and tourism receipts totalling RM89 billion next year.
Nazri said he would propose the idea to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak after returning home.
“Maybe we can try it next year for tour groups from China who visit Malaysia via travel agents,” he told Malaysian journalists in Shanghai today.
Nazri said currently, six Asean countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines have offered visa fee waiver schemes for Chinese tourists.
“Whereas we are only offering visa-on-arrival (VoA),” he said, citing tourists from India and China in Singapore are eligible to apply for VoA at the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex, Tanjung Kupang, Johor beginning November 1.
Prior to this, only five air entry points offered the VoA facility, namely the Bayan Lepas International Airport, Penang; Senai International Airport, Johor; Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah; Kuching International Airport, Sarawak; KLIA and klia2.
Nazri is leading a Malaysian delegation comprising representatives from the State Tourism Authorities of Sabah, Sarawak and Johor, as well as Malaysian travel agents and the Malaysia My Second Home Association to promote MyFest 2015 at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) 2014 in Shanghai.
Earlier, Nazri had paid a courtesy call on chairman of China National Tourism Administration, Li Jinzao.
They discussed the tourism industry of both countries, including the MH370 tragedy in March this year.
As both countries have solid bilateral relations, Li expressed his confidence that Malaysia’s tourism industry would gradually recover.
China is Malaysia’s largest inbound tourist source besides neighbouring countries where Malaysia has attracted some 1.79 million Chinese tourists to Malaysia last year, an increase of 14.9% from 2012. – Bernama, November 14, 2014.
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