IMPLEMENTING the Visa On Arrival (VOA) in Penang for tourists from China and India will be a selling point for the state.
Penang Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage (Petach) Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the Philippines had VOA implemented for tourists from China in 2017 while Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand introduced VOA in 2018.
“In comparison to these countries, we are left behind in efforts to draw tourists from China and India.
“I have visited some of the airline companies in China and they have expressed the need for VOA as a selling point for tourists.
“They believe it will increase the number of visitors from China to Penang and Malaysia as a whole.
“The VOA is in line with our Visit Malaysia Year 2020 and Experience Penang Year 2020.
“We hope the Federal Government not only introduces VOA for tourists from China and India entering Malaysia but also allows it for those flying indirectly to the Penang International Airport,” he said in his winding-up speech at the Penang State Assembly.
Yeoh was responding to a question posed by Teh Lai Heng (PH - Komtar) on the need for VOA for tourists from China and India.
Yeoh said the Penang government was working hard to introduce direct flights from India to the state as well as promote Penang to Indian tourists.
“I hope the Federal Government will look into the policy so that we will be better able to compete with our neighbouring countries.”
It was reported last week that the VOA requirement for tourists from China and India might be relaxed in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi had said the move might be implemented this year but he did not give further details.
“We want more tourists so we need to be lenient.”
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