MATTA: Visa Requirement Won’t Affect Tourism

PETALING JAYA: Revoking visa-free status for North Koreans will have no impact on local tourism, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat says.
He said ordinary North Koreans were restricted from leaving their country and only officials were allowed to travel abroad.

Hamzah said China, a close ally of North Korea, imposes visa requirements on North Koreans while Thailand takes between two and three weeks to approve visas to them.

“Malaysia is among the few countries which accorded them visa-free travel,” he said, adding that this may be due to the fact the Malaysian Government was aware of the limited travel out of the hermit state.

Hamzah said ordinary Malaysians do not visit North Korea, and only those with special interests such as for business do so. He said there were no direct flights to North Korea and special arrangements had to be made to fly there via China or Russia.

“No MATTA member offers travel packages to North Korea,” he said.