Visa-Free Entry For Chinese Visitors Timely To Boost Tourism, Economy

January 20, 2015 11:58 pm 

GEORGE TOWN, Jan. 20 — The announcement of free-entry visas to visitors, including those from China, is timely not only to boost the tourism industry but also support Malaysia's economic growth.

Datuk Lim Mee Lee, managing director of MM2H Sdn Bhd, the authorised agent for malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, said the free-entry visas would support the country's economy this year amid the challenging external environment.

"It is good news not only for the tourism industry but it will also have spillover effects on its sub-sectors namely hotels, travel agents as well as retailers.

"Furthermore it would encourage domestic activities thus giving support to the country's economic growth, especially when it is going through a rough time," he told Bernama here Tuesday.

Today, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced special key measures to sustain development and economic growth for malaysia with tourism playing a crucial role.

Among the measures highlighted were offering free-entry visas to visitors, including those from China, extending the period of Mega Sales nationwide and encourage domestic tourism through competitive pricing of domestic flights.

Lim said the measure to promote tourism to boost and support the country's economy was an effective step to attract more income for the country, adding China's economy was strong and their people's spending behaviour had changed.

Tour operator, Angel Tours Sdn Bhd executive chairman, Charles Leong said the free-entry visas was a boon for the tourism industry as well as for the country's economy.

"The government is not only encouraging overseas tourism but also domestic through competitive pricing of domestic flights. However, there is also a need for competitive rate for hotels to ensure affordable travelling," he said.

Leong said the tourism players needed to be more creative in promoting tour packages and create attractive places to remain competitive as many countries were also stressing on tourism for growth especially during this challenging economic environment.

The free-entry visas to visitors, including those from China, was also welcomed by Tourism Malaysia Penang considering the state has attracted Chinese tourists over the years due to its cultural and heritage status.

According to Tourism Malaysia Penang, China's tourist arrivals in Penang registered growth from 2012 to 2014, with 49,433 tourists in 2012, 61,924 in 2013 and 72,957 in 2014. (PNA/BERNAMA)



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