The Malaysian government’s recent move of extension of visa-free stay for tourists from China and India is likely to witness a surge in the number of arrivals from two of the most populous countries. As per reports, Tourism Malaysia is expecting a 7 per cent increase in tourist arrivals from China and India, especially in conjunction with its campaign ‘Visit Malaysia Year’ (VMY2020). The targeted increase is in line with the one-year visa exemption for tourists from China and India, both of which are among the largest markets for the country’s tourism industry. It is also estimated that about 3.26 million Chinese tourists and 683,000 Indian tourists are expected to visit Malaysia this year.
Malaysia has set a 30 million tourist arrival for Visit Malaysia Year 2020 which began on Jan 1 in a bid to make Malaysia the destination of choice for leisure and business. In terms of tourist arrivals, Malaysia recorded 2.41 million tourists from China and 539,167 tourists from India, for the period of January to September in 2019. In 2018, Malaysia welcomed a total of 25.8 million international tourists, while in first nine months of 2019; Malaysia’s tourism industry performance had shown positive development.
Visa free travel in Malaysia
With the Malaysian government’s announcement of visa free travel for tourists from India and China, for the whole year of 2020, tourists from these two countries can visit Malaysia for a span of 15 days, provided they register via the electronic travel registration and information system – either individually or through travel agencies in their respective countries. Once registered, the tourists must travel to Malaysia within three months. The 15-day visa-free period cannot be extended.