Tourist arrivals reach 26 million so far this year

tourist arrivals reach 26 million so far this year

Tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing looked forward to higher tourist arrivals next year with Chinese and Indian tourists allowed visa-free entry into the country.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia received about 26 million tourists from January to November this year, according to statistics from the immigration department.

Bernama reported that Singapore provided the highest number of tourists (12.64 million visitors), followed by Indonesia (3.16 million), Thailand (2.07 million), China (1.4 million), Brunei (904,841) and India (780,532).

Tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing expressed hope that this figure will rise further next year with Chinese and Indian tourists allowed visa-free entry into the country.

On Nov 26, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced that the government will grant 30-day visa-free entry to Chinese and Indian travellers from Dec 1.

The home ministry is also implementing a visa liberalisation plan in a bid to boost the country’s tourism industry.

Separately, Tiong said the ministry will introduce a special series of batik collections next month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Malaysia and China’s diplomatic ties.

“We might design a special collection for both countries and also explore how to run a one-year promotion in China. For instance, they could promote their clothing, such as cheongsam or other materials, to us,” he added.

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