30-day visa free entry augurs well for Sabah’s tourism plan, says CM

KOTA KINABALU: The federal government’s decision to give 30-day visa-free entry into Malaysia from China and India beginning Dec 1, 2023 augurs well with Sabah’s target of 2.2 million arrivals this year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, in welcoming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement, said so far Sabah has already achieved 85.6 per cent of the tourist arrival target.

“With normalcy returning to the tourism industry, the state government has launched a tourism recovery campaign to attract tourists back to Sabah.

“To date, Sabah is connected to eight major Chinese cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Macau and Hong Kong with 63 weekly flights and seating capacity of 11,360,” he said in a statement today.

Yesterday, Anwar said the government will grant a 30-day visa-free entry for citizens of China and India from Dec 1, as part of the celebration of the 50-year strategic partnership between Malaysia and China next year.

Hajiji said record from January to September this year showed 45,801 tourist arrivals compared to 2,734 in the same period last year.

As for Indian arrivals to Sabah, there was an upward trend with 4,176 arrivals up to September this year compared to 2,734 for the same period last year.

The Chief Minister reiterated that with the introduction of the 30-day visa-free entry policy for visitors from the world’s two most populous countries, it would assist in speeding up the recovery process for the tourism sector.

“We hope to see more air connectivity to increase visitor arrivals in Sabah,” Hajiji said. -Bernama

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (right)/BERNAMAPix

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