Visa-free boost Sabah’s tourism

The federal government’s decision to grant a 30-day visa-free entry into Malaysia for visitors from China and India, effective December 1, 2023, is welcomed by Sabah to boost its tourist arrivals.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor noted that Sabah has already achieved 85.6% of its 2.2 million tourist target this year.

Sabah is connected to eight major Chinese cities with 63 weekly flights and a seating capacity of 11,360, contributing to the increased arrivals from China, reaching 45,801 from January to September.

Indian arrivals also showed an upward trend, with 4,176 compared to 2,734 for the same period last year.

The Chief Minister emphasized that the visa-free entry policy for China and India would aid in the tourism sector’s recovery, expressing hope for increased air connectivity to further boost visitor arrivals.

In reciprocity, China announced visa-free entry for travellers from Malaysia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning, stated that citizens from these countries can enter China without a visa for up to 15 days for business, tourism, family visits, and transit purposes.

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