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Tourism industry players in Sarawak, Sabah laud visa exemption

KUCHING: The visa exemption granted by the government for visitors from China and India can increase visitor arrivals to the country and revitalise the tourism sector in Sarawak and Sabah, according to industry players.

Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah welcomes the decision and hopes the state’s tourism industry will surge next year with the presence of more visitors compared to three million this year.

At the same time, he said he hoped that the national security is not neglected, adding that “we have to be extra careful about those who come in”.

“We want those who come here to travel, benefit the tourism sector and bring harmony and prosperity,” he told reporters after attending the Triennial General Assembly of the Sarawak United National Youth Organisation (Saberkas), here today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently announced 30-day-visa free entry into Malaysia for visitors from China and India for social visits, tourism and business starting Dec 1.

A tour guide, Lina Tsen, 38, said the exemption was a positive measure that could boost the country’s tourism sector following the global COVID-19 pandemic, adding that other businesses will also benefit, including hotels, homestays, crafts, food and beverage as well as hawkers.

In SABAH, Koperasi North Borneo Semporna Berhad chairman Kerino Jalani said the exemption would allow tourists to visit Sabah, thus increasing the income of resort and chalet operators.

“Furthermore, business owners can upgrade their services by offering comfortable accommodations that meet the needs of local and international tourists,” he told Bernama.–Bernama

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