KULAIJAYA, Jan 14 – The government will look into visa exemption for tourists from China as a move to attract them to the country. Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the visa exemption was discussed at the Cabinet meeting today.
“The Cabinet should have discussed the visa fee exemption for tourists from China but we discussed a bigger issue, that is to exempt visa for tourists from China,” he told reporters when visiting the Johor Premium Outlets here today. Also present was Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong.
Nazri said in this regard, his ministry and the home ministry had also been directed by the Cabinet to conduct studies on the implications of the exemption. He said both ministries needed to table the study at the next Cabinet meeting next week.
According to Nazri, Chinese tourist arrivals fell last year, despite being the Visit Malaysia Year, as compared to the year before. The matter could be attributed to the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 plane and the MAS MH17 tragedy, apart from kidnapping cases in the East Coast of Sabah.
“These issues caused the failure to meet the 2014 targets of 28 million tourists bringing in RM76 billion. “Despite the failure to meet the targets, the number of tourists and tourist income generated last year were higher than those recorded in 2013,” noted Nazri.