SHANGHAI: The Government will explore the possibility of waiving the visa fee for Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia under group tours.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who is here for the China International Travel Mart, said that if approved, the move would put Malaysia on par with other Asean countries who are already offering a similar scheme to Chinese visitors.
“I will raise the issue with the Prime Minister.
“We can probably run a year-long trial for Chinese tourists who come into Malaysia with travel agencies,” he said in his first visit to China following the MH370 tragedy.
Malaysia originally aimed for two million visitors from China for Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 but revised the figure to 1.7 million in the aftermath of the March 8 disaster in which 239 lives – 153 of them Chinese nationals – went missing.
Next year has been designated Malaysia Year of Festivals (MyFest) with a targeted tourist arrival of 29.4 million, an increase of 1.4 million from the 28 million for VMY 2014.
The estimated tourist receipts are also raised from RM76bil to RM89bil.
“To achieve our goal next year, waiving the visa fee would be an incentive to attract more Chinese tourists to Malaysia,” Nazri said.
Travel agencies confident number of Chinese travellers will increase gradually