Malaysia is set to welcome 27.3 million visitors from abroad this year, thanks to several new plans including free visas and more flights. The director-general of Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Ammar Abd Ghapar, shared this goal, noting the success of last year when over 20 million tourists arrived, beating the target of 19.1 million.

Malaysia Aims High with 27.3 Million Tourist Goal
(Photo : Suhail Azmi on Unsplash)

Malaysia Aims High in Tourism with New Initiatives

The government's new charter flight program is one key strategy. A report released by Malay Mail said that it offers money to help start more flights to Malaysia. This plan is important for getting more flights, especially from other countries. Ammar hopes for even more support, like an International Border Flight Grant, to bring in more flights not just to Kuala Lumpur, but also to cities like Kota Kinabalu, Penang, and Tawau.

Ammar talked about these plans while welcoming passengers from a new flight between Kuala Lumpur and Shenyang, China. He mentioned that incentives will be given to airlines that increase their flight frequency or add new routes. Since January, around 40 extra charter flights to Malaysia have been recorded.

Another big step is the Visa Liberalisation program. Starting Dec. 1, Chinese and Indian visitors can enter Malaysia without a visa. This change has already led to more tourists from China. According to, travel from China to Malaysia for the Chinese New Year in 2024 is expected to grow by 53.9% compared to last year. Malaysia is aiming for about 200,000 tourists from China every month.

These efforts show Malaysia's commitment to boosting tourism. With the combination of easier travel and more flights, the country is on track to hit its ambitious tourist target this year.

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Malaysia Celebrates Chinese New Year with Economic Optimism

Malaysia recently celebrated the Chinese New Year with great enthusiasm, especially in its capital, Kuala Lumpur. The city was beautifully decorated in gold and red, showcasing the dragon, this year's zodiac animal. The decorations were a big hit, drawing many visitors, including an impressive display at the Petronas Twin Towers.

Tan Hui Yun, a marketing manager from Malaysia, shared her positive outlook for the year. She mentioned an improvement in the economy and a decrease in her financial worries. She was happy to return to her family reunion dinner with fewer concerns compared to previous years.

According to Xinhua, the festive mood reflected Malaysia's strong economic performance. In December, the country's wholesale and retail trade reached a record high of 143.9 billion ringgit. This growth was driven by increases in retail, wholesale, and even the motor vehicle sectors.

Tourism in Malaysia also showed promise, especially with visa-free entry for Chinese nationals starting from December last year. Jimmy Thoo Choy, a tourism operator, expressed hope for more tourists in 2024. He noted that while 2023 didn't see a big increase, steady growth is expected in the coming year, boosted by the 50th anniversary of China-Malaysia diplomatic ties.

The celebrations also included well-wishes from Malaysia's new king and queen and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. They emphasized unity among Malaysians and expressed hopes for a prosperous year ahead, in line with the strengths of the Year of the Dragon.

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