Last updated Tuesday, December 06, 2016 6:12 pm GMT+8

Wednesday October 19, 2016
06:55 AM GMT+8

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Siew with Citrawarna participants at Dataran Merdeka last month. He says the tourism industry will benefit if visas were cheaper. — Picture by Ahmad ZamzahuriSiew with Citrawarna participants at Dataran Merdeka last month. He says the tourism industry will benefit if visas were cheaper. — Picture by Ahmad ZamzahuriPETALING JAYA, Oct 19 — The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board has listed its wishlist for Budget 2017, citing cheaper visas as one of them.

The board's chairman, Datuk Siew Ka Wei, said cheaper visas would boost arrivals and help the industry as a whole.

He said the government should look into providing more tax breaks for companies involved in providing services to inbound tourists.

“We also hope the government would provide incentives for investments made at historic sites, as well as see the government provide more support for genuine homestay projects. These initiatives would boost the industry,” he said.

Performance Management and Delivery Unit chief executive officer Datuk Seri idris Jala said with the tourism sector growing by 8.8 per cent last year, contributing RM67.1 billion to the gross national income, he was confident Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would continue to give his focus on tourism activities in the Budget announcement. 

Under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), the tourism sector was identified as one of the key economic sectors capable of achieving RM168 billion in tourism receipts, and 36 million tourist arrivals by 2020. 

“I am sure the tourism sector will be included under the ETP in Budget 2017, as we work towards achieving a high-income nation status by 2020,” Idris said. 

“To achieve the targets, initiatives will encompass a broad range of product offerings such as affordable luxury, nature adventure, and business tourism.”

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