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Chinese tourist arrivals to Malaysia is picking up, thanks to the implementation of the electronic visa (-e-visa) March 2015, as well as, various tourism promotions.

Malaysian Ambassador to China Zainuddin Yahya said since the e-visa was launched, 15,669 e-visa applications were received and 19,934 application for electronic travel registration and information (Entri).

"The processing fee for visa application is not an obstacle...Chinese tourists to Malaysia is showing an increasing trend," he said after launching the Tourism Malaysia Pavilion at the Beijing International Tourism Expo (Bite) in Beijng today.

Present was Tourism Malaysia Beijing office director Noran Ujang and  Tourism Malaysia chairperson Wee Choo Keong.

E-visa is for applicants with a stay not exceeding 30 days and cost 200 yuan (RM128) in processing fee.

The EntriI service is for those on a short trip not exceeding 15 days and cost 160 yuan (RM102) to process.

Applicants can register at the official website for Malaysian e-visa application.

Zainuddin said Chinese travellers still preferred to walk-in for visa applications and more efforts must be made to raise awareness among the locals to apply visa online.

"About 10 percent of them are applying for visa online while 90 percent still prefer to walk-in to the visa centre to apply due to lack of awareness especially, among those from the interiors of China," he added.

He said lack of tech-savvy and Internet facilities, especially at the inner part of China, explained the small percentage of tourists applying for visa online.

Zainuddin said the efforts were being made to increase awareness of applying visa online not only among tourists but also the business community, who travel to Malaysia.

"We are planning to work with WeChat (China's mobile text and voice messaging communication service) and Huawei (Chinese tech company) to raise this awareness," he added.

- Bernama

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