Malaysia to implement one-year trial of visa-free entry for Chinese tourists
The Malaysian Cabinet has directed the country’s Interior Ministry to implement a year-long trial of visa-free entry for Chinese tourists.
The Malaysian Cabinet has directed the country’s Interior Ministry to implement a year-long trial of visa-free entry for Chinese tourists, Malaysia's Minister of Tourism and Culture Nazri Abdul Aziz said.
“The visa-free proposal has been considered by the cabinet and it will be tried for one year to assess its feasibility,” he said.
He acknowledges that the visa issue has been a reason for the decline in Chinese visitor arrivals to Malaysia and supports scrapping the tourism visa requirements for Chinese visitors.
Mr. Nazri said Malaysia’s two biggest competitors for tourism, Thailand and India, have both implemented visa-free entry for Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists made 2 million visits to Thailand in Q1 2015, compared to only 379,265 Chinese arrivals to Malaysia in the same period. The arrival figure declined 27.1% from 520,466 arrivals in the same period last year.
He pointed out that destinations around the world are scrambling to attract Chinese visitors with measures of convenience, for example, the UK and Spain have printing Chinese language brochures, to rival for a share of the Chinese outbound market expected to reach 110 million trips this year.
Last year, Malaysia attracted just 27.4 million visitors and fell short of its target of 28 million, and Chinese arrivals accounted for much of the shortfall, he said.(Translation by David)