KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Tourism Council (MTC) supports a proposal to speed up exemption of visa for tourists from China to lure more of its people to visit the country.
MTC president Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said Indonesia and Thailand which abolished visa for tourists were enjoying a surge in their arrivals.
"Malaysia is able to lure only 350,000 tourists from China while Thailand has recorded two million tourists from China in the first three months of this year.
"The joy of Thai nationals is obvious at this development. The Malaysian Government should emulate Thailand's example," he said in a statement here Saturday.
On Wednesday, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the home ministry (KDN) should speed up the proposal to abolish visa for tourists from China, following a major drop in their arrival.
Mohamed Nazri said he had raised the issue in the Cabinet and KDN was directed to prepare a Cabinet paper to abolish the visa for a year's trial period.
Mohd Sharkar said even a one-year trial period could impact positively on the tourist arrival and simultaneously, bring good returns to the national tourism industry.
If the abolition of the visa could not be hastened, MTC wanted the government to consider enabling the visa to be obtained online as the existing method was time-consuming.