With a view to increase Indian arrivals, Malaysia has announced free e-visa for Indian nationals. This means only USD 20 as processing fee will be charged, while the visa fee has been waived off. Besides, the e-visa will be processed within 48 hours. “We are looking at attracting 1 million visitors from India this year and have announced a visa fee waive off-except for a processing charge of USD 20. This single visa is valid for a period of 15 days,” said Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board. The step would boost to Malaysia’s travel & tourism industry because of the fact that India has emerged as one of the key markets for inbound tourism for Malaysia. To be more precise, India features among the top 10 revenue generating markets for Malaysia.
According to the Director General, 700,000 Indian tourists visited in Malaysia in 2015. “Our growth with respect to Indian market has been very impressive since we stepped in this market,” he said. Datuk Seri Mirza also said that they share a very good relation with various trade organizations in India which will further facilitate to get more number of visitors from India.
This year, Malaysia is focusing on Eco-tourism and trying to take more number of people beyond cities. “Malaysia is a lush country blessed with natural assets such as rainforests, beaches etc. This year, the tourism board is laying focus on eco-tourism with special emphasis on ‘lung washing’ tourism. The concept is aimed at promoting Malaysia as a free-from-pollution destination and targeting tourists yearning for better natural environment where they can spend their holidays,” said Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Director, Tourism Malaysia, Mumbai. He added, “Keeping in line with the UNWTO’s declaration of 2017 as the international year of sustainable tourism, there are plans to customize special packages to promote the two UNESCO heritage sites-Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak and Mount Kinabalu Park in Sabah.”
Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia has moved its office to new premises at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. The new office was inaugurated by Datuk Seri Mirza. “Moving to BKC was a logical choice for us. The new office is centrally located making it convenient for our partners and stakeholders to get in touch with us,” he said.