KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has welcomed the government's decision to allow visa-free entry for tourists from China and India throughout 2020, saying the state expects to see a surge of tourists from the two countries.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said that the move was apt and timely and would augur well for the growth of tourist arrivals from the two countries in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VM2020).
"I welcome the statement from the government that tourists who are citizens of China and India would be able to visit Malaysia without a tourist visa until Dec 31 next year.
“I appreciate the Federal Government's effort in supporting VM2020 campaign, ” said Liew, who is state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister.
She said with the 15-day visa-free concession for these tourists to travel to Malaysia, Sabah expected a surge in the number of tourists.
"While Sabah does not have any direct flights from India, but connectivity through Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and even Brunei would be gateways for the tourists to come, ” she added.
“I can foresee an upward trend in visits from Indian and Chinese nationals next year," she said in a statement on Sunday (Dec 29).
Liew urged tourism players in Sabah to take advantage of the government's effort to lure more tourists to Sabah to secure a “slice of the tourism pie.”
Quoting statistics from Sabah Tourism Board (STB), she said as of October this year, arrivals from China and India had increased 3.1% and 19.3% respectively.
"STB will continue its marketing efforts vis-a-vis China to seek more MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention & Exhibition) business, and to grow Sabah's nature and adventure tourism.
“A delegation from the board will also attend SATTE, a trade show in Delhi, as a new initiative for the Indian market," she added.
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