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More generous visa facility to usher in VM 2020

  • VM 2020 provides an excellent opportunity for Malaysia to further liberalize its visa policy to maximize the economic spinoff from a highly promising non-polluting industry.

Sin Chew Daily

Defective July 15, the home ministry has added six entry points in the country to provide visa-on-arrival facility to visitors from China and India. These additional entry and exit points are Subang airport, Langkawi airport, Labuan jetty, Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint, Miri airport and Miri Brunei Sungai Tujuh checkpoint.

This facility is only extended to Chinese and Indian nationals entering Malaysia via a third country, such as Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore or Thailand.

In addition to increased number of checkpoints offering the visa-on-arrival facility, the home ministry has also extended the duration of stay for Chinese and Indian visitors upon their arrival in Malaysia from seven days to 15 days, lower the visa-on-arrival fee from RM330 to RM200, and ease the currency declaration requirement from US$1,000 to US$500.

This move has received a warm welcome from the local tour operators and is anticipated to further boost tourist arrivals from China and India.

Local tour operators have hoped that the government will further liberalize the policy in order to enhance its effects.

They feel that the same level of visa-on-arrival facility should also be made available at other entry points with significant numbers of Chinese and Indian tourist arrivals, including KLIA, KLIA2, and the international airports in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang.

In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020, the government should step up effort to entice more tourists from China given the fact Chinese tourists make up the lion's share in many international tourist markets.

In view of this, the government should further ease the policy, such as expediting visa application processing in a bid to boost the local tourism industry.

Thanks to its robust economic development, China has witnessed an unprecedented expansion in its outbound tourist numbers with their astounding consumption power, making Chinese tourists highly sought after by many nations.

Now that Malaysia wishes to enlarge its share, by right we should adopt a more open and friendly visa policy, such as extending the duration of stay from 15 days to 21 or even 30 days.

In the meantime, local tour operators must be encouraged to provide more attractive tour packages that will make tourists stay longer and spend more to swell our tourism receipts.

Moreover, requiring visitors to enter Malaysia via a third country in order to enjoy the visa-on-arrival facility, is no longer appropriate.

From the economic point of view, this requirement has already benefited the so-called “third countries”.

Given the fact there are already plenty of direct flights from China and India to Malaysia, we should provide the most convenient access to lure more Chinese and Indian nationals to the country.

The government must come to the realization that we have already lost our appeal to Chinese nationals given the cautious attitude of some of our immigration officials in fending off potential illegal migrant workers or overstayers.

Visit Malaysia 2020 should provide an excellent opportunity for the country to further liberalize its visa policy to maximize the economic spinoff from a highly promising non-polluting industry.

 

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