Following the footsteps of its neighboring Thailand, Malaysia takes similar measures to rejuvenate its crucial tourism sector and invigorate its economy.
In a significant move to revitalize its tourism sector, Malaysia has declared visa-free entry for citizens of China and India for stays of up to 30 days, effective December 1. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made the announcement during his speech at the People’s Justice Party congress, emphasizing the importance of fostering tourism and economic recovery.
While the duration of the visa exemption was not specified, the initiative is expected to boost tourism and economic ties with China and India, which are Malaysia’s fourth and fifth-largest source markets, respectively.
Government data reveals that Malaysia recorded 9.16 million tourist arrivals between January and June this year. Of these, 498,540 were from China and 283,885 from India. These figures signify a notable recovery compared to the same period in 2019, prior to the pandemic, when Malaysia saw 1.5 million arrivals from China and 354,486 from India.
This move aligns with the global trend, mirroring similar measures implemented by neighboring Thailand to stimulate their vital tourism sectors and combat economic challenges. Both Malaysia and Thailand have chosen to exempt Chinese and Indian nationals from visa requirements this year, recognizing the potential impact on tourism and the overall economy.
Presently, Chinese and Indian nationals are required to apply for visas to enter Malaysia. The forthcoming visa-free entry initiative is poised to simplify travel procedures, attracting more tourists from these key markets and contributing to the ongoing recovery of Malaysia’s tourism industry. Travelers are advised to stay updated on any specific conditions or requirements associated with the new visa exemption policy.