KUALA LUMPUR: Passenger traffic at airports throughout Malaysia recorded a double-digit growth in the past two months after the government introduced 30-day visa exemptions for visitors from China and India beginning Dec 1.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said in a video uploaded on Facebook today that the growth was a good development to drive the tourism sector and economic growth and would help strengthen the Malaysian ringgit.

“If we can boost our tourism sector, it will help strengthen the ringgit’s value as demand for the ringgit will rise when more tourists come over.

“So we will continue to support efforts to boost the tourism industry, including working with all parties, especially the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry,” he said, adding that passenger traffic at airports last year was 81.9 million people, the highest since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Compared to 121 destinations in 2022, Malaysia had 147 flight routes worldwide, an increase of 25 per cent. We are hoping that the air travel sector will continue to develop further,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim previously said that the exemption was an addition to the existing visa exemption applicable to Gulf nation visitors and those from other West Asian countries, but was subject to security checks. - Bernama

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