Jun 16, 2017

IMPROVED VISA FACILITY TO BOOST TOURIST ARRIVALS FROM CHINA AND INDIA

PUTRAJAYA, 6 June 2017: A review of Malaysia’s tourism performance in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 indicate that tourist arrivals from the China market is on the rise again after the slowdown in 2015.

Chairman of Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Dr. Siew Ka Wei said, “This growth trend can be attributed to several factors, particularly the improvements made to visa services following the Hon. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s announcement to facilitate the matter.”

He added, “The Prime Minister’s visits to China and India recently and his call to ease travel formalities for Chinese and Indian tourists was timely and helped to boost confidence in these two markets for travel to Malaysia.”

He said, “We are grateful that the Government recognises the pressing need for better visa services to attract more Chinese and Indian tourists to our shores.”

Dato’ Dr. Siew added, “The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration Department of Malaysia have always been responsive on the matter. We thank them for the constant review of the visa policy in the interest of our tourism industry. Their efforts and cooperation to improve visa services have now made it easier for tourists from China and India to travel to Malaysia.”

Since the e-visa and visa-free programme was launched in March 2016 in Beijing by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz together with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the response from China nationals has been positive.

Between March 2016 and April 2017, there was a total of 284,606 e-visa applications and 323,173 eNTRI applications from China nationals.

The number of visas approved for Indian tourists has also shot up by 91.1% following the Prime Minister’s visit to India in April, from 36,442 visas approved in March to 69,635 visas approved in April. The Prime Minister agreed that approved e-visa applications are also valid for multiple entries. Following that, the Ministry of Home Affairs is working on the final details of the two-week multiple entry visa-free visit to Malaysia which will boost this number even further.

Basically, China and India nationals can now apply for e-visa (electronic visa), eNTRI (Electronic Travel Registration and Information) or VOA (Visa on Arrival), depending on the purpose of their visit to Malaysia.

In addition, they are also allowed to transit in Malaysia without a visa, on specific terms and conditions.

Dato’ Dr. Siew said, “These improvements have come at an opportune time to encourage more Chinese and Indian tourists to visit Malaysia. Considering that visa arrangements are critical for the convenience of travelers, these facilities are expected to ease travel preparations, especially since it has the following features: online application system, faster processing time and reasonable fees.”

With information technology playing a critical role in tourism these days, the online application system for travel arrangements to Malaysia will be a game changer and accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s tourism industry.

This improved facility is expected to help attract larger numbers of tourists from China and India to Malaysia who are looking for a holiday experience that offers diversity at an affordable price. Furthermore, the cordial relations and strong historical ties Malaysia has with China and India will make travelers from these two countries feel right at home in Malaysia.

Online visa applications for all tourists planning to visit Malaysia are processed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia and can be made at: www.windowmalaysia.my

ENDS

For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at http://www.tourism.gov.my/

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2016, Malaysia registered 26.8 million tourist arrivals and RM82.1 billion in receipts, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world.

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