Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also Finance Minister, has put forth Budget 2024 under which the domestic tourism sector is expected to grow further.
According to Akmal Adanan, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, UiTM Melaka Campus, the budget allocates substantial resources to rejuvenate the tourism sector, emphasising its important role in economic growth.
One of the key developments is the decision to reinstate Tahun Melawat Malaysia (Visit Malaysia Year) in 2026, with a goal of welcoming 26.1 million foreign tourists and achieving domestic spending of 97.6 billion RM (20.7 billion USD).
This commitment is a step towards revitalising Malaysia’s position as a premier global tourism destination. To achieve this, the government has set aside 350 million RM for promotional activities aimed at regaining Malaysia’s status as a preferred global tourism destination.
The budget acknowledges the significance of preserving and maintaining tourist attractions, historical sites, and cultural heritage.
Furthermore, 20 million RM is earmarked for state governments to maintain and restore tourism hotspots, and 80 million RM for the conservation and restoration of heritage sites with UNESCO potential.
The commitment of 20 million RM to Think City for the revitalisation of Kuala Lumpur as a creative and cultural hub is a testament to the government’s forward-looking approach, he said.
Recognising the substantial contributions of the tourism and manufacturing sectors to national development, the government is committed to introducing new initiatives under the Malaysia Visa Liberalisation Plan.
The three actions outlined in the budget are to simplify the approval process for Employment Passes for strategic investors in key sectors; introducing Long-Term Social Visit Passes for international students who have completed their studies; and enhancing facilities for Visa-On-Arrival, social visit passes, and offering Multiple Entry Visas to encourage the entry of tourists and investors, particularly from India and China./.
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