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Malaysia Begins Electronic Visa Service but Troubles Remain for Chinese Tourists
Malaysia is a beautiful country with a long and storied history. With signs of human settlement on the islands dating back almost 40,000 years, there is no end to the richness of the cultural landscape one can explore while visiting Malaysia. All these touristic treasures now are so close with Malaysia visa online web service provided for iVisa.
Even members of Malaysia's own government recognize the great value that bringing more international tourists into the country may have. As a result, an electronic visa program was proposed in 2015 and recently began in January 2016. These efforts are intended to make it easier to bring more tourists, especially lucrative groups from China, into the country to see the sights and inject tourism dollars into the local economy.
Whether coming to see the beautiful ecological sites in the country such as the jagged limestone peaks of Mount Api or the urban wonder of modern Kuala Lumpur, there is no shortage of reasons for travelers to want to spend time in Malaysia.
E-Visa System Experiencing Early Growing Pains
Obtaining a Malaysia visa has not become easier for Chinese tourists even with the implementation of the new electronic system, however. Two weeks after the launch of the system, chairperson of Tourism Malaysia Wee Choo Keong noted that the service was proving to be very inconvenient, and called for changes to make the process easier.
Unlike other electronic visa systems which are streamlined and efficient, Malaysia's electronic system currently requires travellers to include information about their return flight and where they will be staying. This makes the process more difficult, as it places restrictions on how long and how far into Malaysia a tourist can travel. Additionally, travellers must still send in their passport and pay for its return, creating a potential for major problems. Rather than streamlining the visa application process, some travellers find the new electronic process to be cumbersome and difficult compared to the walk-in application.
Placing one's passport in the hands of a foreign government and its couriers may prove to be a critical flaw in the system, due to the possibility of delays or lost information. With still no changes to the required fees and no sign that the system has become friendlier to Chinese tourists, obtaining an electronic Malaysia visa may not yet be easier than applying in person for Chinese nationals. It remains to be seen whether the e-visa system will be retooled into a more tourist-friendly system as members of the government have asked.