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Gov't urged to review visa fees to boost tourism

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Putrajaya has been urged to look into the possibility of waiving tourist visa fees during certain seasons to draw in more tourists.

In a statement today, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said Malaysia should take cue from Thailand which has waived its 2,000 Thai Baht (RM273) visa fee for tourist arriving between November and April for two years in a row.

"The world has seen the success of this programme in Thailand and now even Russia is adopting it. Malaysia must look into waiving the visa fee to draw in more tourists.

"We should at least look at implementing it for the winter months, and to immediately promote it heavily to potential visitors who are seeking to escape the cold," said Lim.

Russia will no longer charge tourists a consular fee from 53 countries - including Malaysia - who are visiting St Petersburg and the surrounding areas.

Visitors will still have to pay a consular fee if they wish to visit other parts of the country.

Lim said tourism receipts for the first half of 2019 was RM41.687 billion and even a five percent increase would translate into an extra RM2 billion

"This huge amount will definitely go a long way in helping our economy and the trickle-down effect will surely reach our B40 community.

"Let us be proactive and seize the opportunity now," he said.

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