The federal government has approved the opening of a visa processing centre in Xiamen, China in order to get at least one million tourists from Fujian province this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he will direct the Immigration Department and related vendors to operate the visa processing centre.
“I hope that this facility is not abused. I will not compromise when it comes to the security and the social harmony of Malaysia,” he said when opening a tourism exhibition organised by the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) today.
Zahid, who is also Home Minister warned that appropriate action would be taken against those found to be abusing the visas given.
On the tourism exhibition, he challenged the event organisers to attract at least 1,000 exhibitors next year.
“The government would like to give RM1 million for MITA fair next year but you have to use the budget properly and get more exhibitors to participate.”
Zahid said he was willing to give a special budget to encourage tour guides to take up language courses to accommodate tourists from China, India and emerging markets in Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, MITA president Uzaidi Udanis said the tourist target set by Zahid could be achieved as Fujian province has a population of more than 30 million.
“The influx of tourists from Fujian would help the government to achieve its target of four million tourists from China this year,” he added.
The new visa processing centre in Xiamen is the fifth in China after Guangzhou, Kunming, Shanghai and Beijing. –Bernama