Malaysia Exploring Visa-Free Entry For Tourists From China
In order to boost tourism numbers, Malaysia is set to explore the idea of a visa-free entry for Chinese tourists, according to Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
In a report from Sin Chew, the minister has confirmed that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has given instructions to the Ministry of Home Affairs to prepare a report on the viability of the policy.
The policy is expected to give Chinese tourists the privilege of visa-free travel to Malaysia for a set number of days.
Datuk Seri Tiong also added that the matter has also been raised with China’s side by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during a recent trip to the China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, China,
During his trip, the Prime Minister also stated that the policy would work best if both sides can implement visa exemptions for tourists from each other’s countries.
The visa-free policy is expected to attract and boost the number of Chinese tourists coming to Malaysia, which will breathe new life into Malaysia’s tourism sector.
178,150 China tourists in first quarter of 2023
In the first quarter of 2023, the reopening of China’s tourist market saw the influx of 178,150 Chinese tourists in Malaysia.
In addition to Chinese tourists, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also stated that the visa-free travel policy should also be extended to Indian tourists as well.
Chinese tourists have always been one of the biggest contributors to the Malaysian tourism sector, which is why industry players have also been pushing for visa-free travel for Chinese visitors to Malaysia.
Before the worldwide lockdown due to the pandemic, Malaysia had previously launched a 15-day visa-free entry programme for tourists from China and India in 2019. This programme was supposed to be available for a year.
Earlier, the government of Thailand had also announced a waiver for visa requirements for travelers from China from September 25, 2023 to February 29, 2024.