The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has expressed concern over the recent month-long service disruption of the eVISA portal which has resulted in losses of more than RM 20 – 30 million.
“Apart from ASEAN, India is now the top contributor to foreign arrivals into Malaysia with 71,481 Indian tourists arrivals between January to June 2022 alone. We are given to 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,” said Datuk Tan Kok Liang, President of MATTA.
MATTA together with Tourism Malaysia has organized a number of highly successful roadshows to India over the last few months and the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) convention was recently held in Kuching to promote Borneo to the tourist Indian markets.
Three visa centers were setup in Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai during the service disruption in an attempt to compensate for the situation.
“Given the vastness of the Indian subcontinent, opening only three visa centers is far from practical.”
“If Malaysia is to remain competitive and attractive to such lucrative markets we have to 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.