Many of us love to travel but for certain countries, we still have to apply for a visa before we can travel there, which adds an extra step of hassle for us. Well, now you will be delighted to know that Malaysians can travel visa-free to “Asia’s Hawaii” starting from May 1! Wah, where?
According to Xinhua, China has decided to grant tourists from 59 countries visa-free access for 30 days to Hainan province, including Malaysia. FYI, the Hainan chicken rice there might just not be the same! This move is expected to be effective from May 1, the State Immigration Administration announced.
Other countries who have been granted the same privilege include Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and the United States. Previously, China’s southernmost island province only allowed tour groups from 21 countries to enter without a visa for two weeks since 2000. With the greater visa-free access, even individual tourists can enjoy this privilege as long as they book their tours from travel agencies.
This new policy is expected to sharply increase the number of tourists to the tropical island as China is trying to promote it as the Hawaii of Asia. “By extending the policy to individuals and the stay to up to 30 days, the government aims to attract more international tourists, nurture the tourism industry and meet the needs of foreign individuals,” said the administration’s vice head Qu Yunhai.
Travel agencies for Hainan are jumping for joy as they expect more tourists to flood the island and enjoy the beautiful sights there. Last year, Hainan had almost 320,000 international tourists from the 26 countries that had visa-free access. This was 3.5 times more than the amount that was recorded in 2016. Tourists from Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Russia accounted for more than 90 per cent of the total.
Plus, it will also be easier to fly directly to Hainan for your travels as they plan to increase more flights. There are already 57 international flights to countries including Germany, Malaysia and Thailand, and they plan to add another 16 new overseas routes this year.
Time to travel to Hainan!