Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said he would propose to the Cabinet to ease restrictions on the issuance of visa to tourists from China. He said other Asean countries had adopted a more liberal approach in granting visas to foreign visitors.
Yesterday, Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (Matta) president Hamzah Rahmat stated in an online news portal that the country would be losing out if the Home Ministry maintained the stringent regulations on Chinese visitors.
“What Matta had suggested is relevant and appropriate. So I agree that our visa regime be slightly liberalised because actually, Asean countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia have already adopted a liberal approach in this regard,” he told reporters.
He said this after launching the ‘Treasures from the Summer Palace’ exhibition at Muzium Negara here today.
The Home Ministry recently stopped the issuance of Visa-on-Arrival to China, which is regarded as a hotspot for human trafficking, similarly, India and Iraq.
According to him, Malaysia is targeting a visitor arrival of 29.4 million next year, an increase of 1.4 million.
“I believe a large number of this 1.4 million are potential Chinese tourists who did not visit our country this year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the public exhibition, starting today until March 3, is held in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Malaysia and China’s diplomatic relations.
The exhibition showcases 84 selected collections on Emperor Qianlong’s Summer Palace in Beijing China, and Malaysia is the first country to display the collection.