KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): Malaysia received nearly 1.5 million tourist arrivals from China and India during the first nine months of 2023 (9M2023), according to Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
Tiong stated that tourist arrivals from China stood at 1.02 million from January to September 2023, while Indian tourist arrivals stood at 472,479 for the same period.
"This represented a 42.2% recovery rate for Chinese tourists, and an 87.6% recovery rate for Indian tourists, compared to the same period in 2019," Tiong said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.
Responding to a query from Lim Guan Eng (Pakatan Harapan-Bagan), Tiong mentioned that the announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to grant visa exemptions to Chinese and Indian tourists is crucial to stimulate the growth and recovery of the tourism industry, given that these two markets have large populations, and the measure will certainly attract a significant number of tourists.
"With the implementation of this visa exemption policy, it will indeed have a positive impact on the tourism industry. We can expect an increase in the number of Indian and Chinese tourists. Indirectly, this will be able to boost the economy of tourism-related industries such as hospitality, retail, transport, and so on," said Tiong.
Tiong also added that the government will ensure that facilities, especially in tourist spots, are in good and safe conditions for tourists and offer attractive and competitive tourism products.
"Additionally, it is crucial that we do not turn every matter into religious or racial issues. We should concentrate on factors that genuinely contribute to the country's economic progress, thereby instilling confidence in tourists, and more tourists will be attracted to visit. Only then we can help the country's economic development," said Tiong.
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