For a long time, Malaysia has become one of the popular destinations for Chinese tourists to travel abroad with its unique charm. The sun, beaches, sea, various rare animals and plants, and special food have attracted tourists from all over the world.

The importance of tourism to Malaysia comes from many aspects. It is not only an important source of foreign exchange, but also a job security for its citizens. Official data shows that tourism is Malaysia's third largest economic pillar, after the electronics industry and the oil and gas industry. It is the country's second largest source of foreign exchange earnings, surpassing the foreign exchange earnings generated by the oil and gas industry.

At the same time, the number of people employed in Malaysia's tourism and related industries exceeds 3.52 million, accounting for more than 23% of the country's total employment population. Because of this, the Malaysian government has been committed to promoting Malaysia as a preferred destination for global tourists.

However, the three-year COVID-19 epidemic has had a huge impact on the Malaysian economy, with the tourism industry suffering the most. According to data from the Malaysian Department of Statistics, the number of inbound tourists to Malaysia in 2020 dropped significantly by 83.4% compared to 2019, which was the worst decline in the history of Malaysian tourism. The number of inbound tourists in 2020 was only 4.3 million, while before the epidemic, this number was measured in tens of millions.

During the epidemic, travel agencies, accommodation and other industries suffered large-scale losses, resulting in employees losing their jobs and businesses closing down. Statistics show that Malaysia's tourism revenue is expected to lose 165 billion ringgit in 2021, which is approximately 255.7 billion yuan. Until now, the weak economy, poor employment situation and rising prices have been the problems currently plaguing the Malaysian economy.

At present, China is still one of Malaysia's largest source countries of tourists. In 2022, the number of Chinese tourists to Malaysia will be 211,363. As of the end of May this year, Malaysia had received a total of 403,121 Chinese tourists, an increase of 907.2% compared with 21,613 tourists in the same period last year. According to China Daily, Chinese tourists visited Malaysia more than 3 million times in 2019, accounting for nearly 12% of Malaysia's total international tourists and generating 17.8% of Malaysia's tourism revenue.

Not long ago, Malaysian officials raised the target of attracting overseas tourists this year from 16 million to 18 million. Stronger tourism activities will contribute at least 1% point to Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023, further helping to achieve Malaysia's GDP growth forecast of 4%. Now the Malay government has further liberalized visa exemption for Chinese tourists, in order to better achieve this goal.