Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday visitors from China will be allowed to enter his country visa-free to boost tourism.
In announcing the government's revised 2016 budget, Najib said that, subject to certain conditions, visas will not be required of Chinese tourists to Malaysia for up to 15 days from March 1 to December 31, 2016.
This is among the Malaysian government's efforts to lure Chinese tourists to prop up Malaysia's tourist industry, as the country's economy continues to suffer from weak oil and international commodity prices since last year.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid said that the country hopes to attract 8 million Chinese tourists a year over the next five years with a purchasing power of 22.1 billion.
Zahid said that Chinese tourists spend an average of 3,345 on food, lodging and shopping. He explained that the government's target can be achieved with sound planning and promotions.