KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): Malaysia recorded 12.17 million tourist arrivals as of the third week of August this year, according to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
Tiong, in his winding up speech on the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review at Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, stated that after fully reopening Malaysia's borders in April 2022, the government set a target of 16.1 million tourist arrivals for this year, taking into account factors such as limited flights and the reopening of the China border in March 2023.
"With only a few months remaining until December 2023, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture hopes that tourist arrivals can continue to grow and surpass the 16.1 million target we have set," he added.
Tiong explained that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) has implemented various initiatives to ensure Malaysia remains a top destination for tourists worldwide, and has had discussions with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Immigration Department to facilitate foreign tourist entry, including visa-on-arrival, multiple-entry visas, E-Visas and transit visas.
On June 22, Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Khairul Firdaus Akhbar Khan stated that the target of 16.1 million tourist arrivals is expected to generate over RM49 billion in tourism revenue. This optimistic outlook is supported by the recovery of most countries from Covid-19, resulting in the reopening of borders, including China's recent border opening.
Additionally, Motac and Tourism Malaysia have identified key tourist markets beyond Asean countries, including the Middle East, China, India, and Europe.
In other development, Tiong announced that the Cabinet has approved the transfer of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme's One-Stop Centre from the Home Ministry to Motac.
"As a result, Motac is currently in the process of transferring, and the One-Stop Centre is expected to commence operations in October 2023," Tiong said.
In April 2023, Motac announced a review of the terms and conditions for the MM2H programme due to a significant drop in applicants, primarily caused by stringent requirements.
Motac and the Home Ministry have agreed for a Motac agency, Tourism Malaysia, to promote and provide application recommendations through a filtering process via an MM2H One-Stop Centre.
This One-Stop Centre will assist applicants in processing their submissions and collating necessary documents for the issuance of the MM2H pass by the Home Ministry or the Immigration Department.
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