KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – About 2.03 million tourists from China are expected to visit Malaysia this year due to the visa exemption.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the visa exemption was implemented this month and the exact figures would only be known at the end of the year.
“A total of 120 million Chinese nationals travel abroad each year. If we tap just 10% of this, we will get 12 million of them here,” he said in reply to Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban).
He said that in 2013, a total of 1.79 million Chinese tourists had visited Malaysia, with the number falling to 1.61 million in 2014. Last year, the number increased to 1.68 million arrivals.
Nazri agreed with Loke that Malaysia could be further promoted through the production of movies involving famous Chinese actors.
“In a way, we are already doing this with Bollywood and Kollywood of India.
“A good example is Rajnikanth, who shot a movie in Malacca. This attracted Indian tourists to the state,” he said.
Nazri also suggested that Chinese actress Gong Li could be engaged to promote Malaysia.
To a question by Datuk Dr Marcus Makin Mojigoh (BN-Putatan), Nazri said 246,918 tourists from China had visited Sabah last year.