New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) Malaysia will now offer a 30-day visa on arrival to Indian tourists to maintain the surge in traffic flow, Malaysian Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said here Monday.
'Indians can utilise this facility from six different points of entry to the country and the visa would be valid for a period of maximum 30 days. The cost of ringgit 100 ($27.20) would be charged as port of entry visa,' Mansor said at a press conference here.
'In order to keep abreast with the unsurpassed interest generated by Indians in Malaysia, it is imperative to establish relaxed visa procedures to spur intra-regional travel and bolster tourism.'
Malaysia is hopeful of Indian tourist arrivals reaching 400,000 by next year, from 225,789 during 2005.
On his maiden visit to India for the 'Visit Malaysia Year 2007' road show, the minister hoped this hassle-free environment would go a long way in strengthening bilateral relations.
Manor would visit Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai to promote bilateral tourism during his India visit till Sep 30.
Inviting Indian companies to organise conferences and other events in Malaysia, the minister said, 'Conference arrivals from India have seen a double-digit growth of over 28 percent in 2005 from the previous year. The total Indian conference arrivals in 2005 stood at 23,302, as compared to 18,081 in the previous year.
'With this new regime of visa on arrival, we are confident these arrivals would reach close to 50,000 for the year ending 2007.'
To promote the growing trade relations between India and Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, Malaysia has proposed a special 'ASEAN-India Tourism Summit' to be held in Kuala Lumpur in the first half of next year.
'This summit would be a regional forum of industry players to attune to the realities of globalisation and adopt cutting edge ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. The programme would go a long way in benefiting the region's economic well-being and thereby bringing prosperity to the people who serve the industry as a whole,' the minister said.