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eVisa outage slows Indian tourists to Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, 19 October 2022: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has expressed concern over the recent month-long service disruption of Malaysia’s eVISA portal, saying it has resulted in losses of MYR20 to 30 million.

“Apart from ASEAN, India is now the top contributor of foreign arrivals to Malaysia, with 71,481 Indian tourist arrivals between January to June 2022 alone, said MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang in a statement to the media on Tuesday.

MATTA President Datuk KL Tan.

“We understand that, in September, approximately 23,000 Indian tourists opted to travel to Bali instead of Malaysia due to the difficulties in securing a visa to Malaysia,”

MATTA and Tourism Malaysia have organised a series of successful roadshows to India over the last few months. In addition, the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) convention was recently hosted in Kuching to promote Borneo to India’s outbound tourism markets.

Three visa centres were set up in Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai to alleviate the eVisa portal downtime impact.

“Given the vastness of the Indian subcontinent, opening only three visa centres is far from practical,” the MATTA president explained.

“If Malaysia is to remain competitive and attractive in such lucrative outbound markets, we must look at more practical long-term measures. As such, the government must consider the immediate benefits of implementing a direct visa-on-arrival facility for Indian tourists,” Tan added.

Thailand and Indonesia already provide visa-on-arrival facilities to Indian tourists at international airport gateways.

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