The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board called on the leading Outbound Tour Operator Association of India (OTOAI) to help spread awareness on the E-Visa facility for Indian nationals. Surprisingly, the said facility was first announced in April 2016 through a press statement in Mumbai just after the launch of a similar facility for the Chinese tourists. However it took about 7-8 months for the Malaysian Tourism Board to call upon the travel trade with help of OTOAI on 23rd November 2016.
The event at the High Commission of Malaysia in New Delhi was graced by the presence of High Commissioner of Malaysia to India; OTOAI President, Malaysian Tourism Promotion Boards Officials including, Director-Hafiz Hashim; Director North & East India- Sulaiman Suip and Deputy Director- Shima Hanan; Malaysian Immigration Officials and other dignitaries.
The e-Visa is for the purpose of travelling purpose, with the length of stay limited to 30 days and for a single entry to Malaysia within three months from the date of issuance of the e-Visa. At the time of the Application the applicant has to be within the Indian territory and apply through an registered Indian e-mail id. The travel agents can create multiple email-ids, but on one i-d, a maximum four application can be moved at one go. Indians residing in India can avail an e-visa within 24-48 hours, while the best way to avoid inconvenience is to move the application at least 10-15 days prior, said the Immigration Officer.
With outbound tourists nearing 20 million mark, tourism authorities of almost all leading travel destinations are targeting Indian travellers now as their inflow has been noticeably increasing in the recent past. India’s outbound travel industry foresees the number of Indians travelling overseas, growing rapidly at 15 to 20 % per year to reach 50 million by 2020.
According to Guldeep Singh Sahni, OTOAI welcomes the e-visa on arrivals for the Indian travelling to Malaysia. “We have requested the concerned authorities to share all relevant details regarding the facility and we shall share that with our pan India membership,” Sahni added.
Malaysia welcomes close to 30 million global tourists and is striving hard to clock one million Indian tourists arrivals soon, which is one of the top ten source markets. With emphasis on family travel, newly wed couples, film crews, business people and MICE, the Malaysian authorities believe that Malaysia is still unexplored and there are much more in the offing.
Malaysia wants to promote many new travel attractions to Indians that include Ipoh, Pangkor Island, Tioman Island, Kota Kinabalu, and Johor Bahru among many other attractions in the quest to develop island tourism, adventure tourism, deep diving tourism and wellness & Spa holidays.