KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — The 15-day visa-free stay in Malaysia next year that has been extended by the government for tourists from China and India will make the country more competitive in attracting them to come for their holiday.
Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) president Uzaidi Udanis said many people in China and India travel abroad every year for their holiday and the visa exemption will attract more of them to come to Malaysia.
“For example, 150 million Chinese nationals with international passports travel every year. We want to attract more tourists, like Thailand, which received 10 million arrivals in tourists from China last year,” he told reporters here.
With the visa exemption, Uzaidi said he estimated four million Chinese national tourists and two million tourists from India to visit the country in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (TMM 2020).
The visa-free visit is limited to only 15 days and cannot be extended. Tourists are allowed to re-register to enter Malaysia after 45 days from the date they leave Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang described the visa-free entry for tourists from China and India as a game-changer in boosting the Malaysian tourism sector.
“The announcement of the extension granted to nationals of these two most populous nations on earth would add impetus to the start of VMY 2020,” he told Bernama.
Tan said the move should be extended beyond 2020, and that the visa should be valid for longer period.
He said the visa exemption for tourist from China and India would help boost the country’s economy.
Malaysia is eyeing to attract 30 million international tourists and earn RM100 billion in tourism receipts in 2020.