Thursday, October 21, 2021

Govt considering giving green light for interstate tourism

Minister Nancy Shukri says the government is aware that the industry cannot recover based solely on intrastate tourism.

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The government is discussing the possibility of allowing interstate tourism and will announce a decision soon, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri said today.

She said the move was to expedite the recovery of the country’s tourism industry which has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“So far, besides Langkawi, we only allow intrastate tourism and we are aware that we cannot depend solely on this to assist the recovery of the tourism industry.

“Therefore, we are looking into allowing interstate tourism to boost the country’s tourism activities,” she said during the oral question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat.

She was responding to a supplementary question from Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar) who asked the government to open up more domestic travel bubbles and not only focus on resort islands to assist industry players affected by Covid-19.

Nancy said several locations have been identified for this purpose, including Fraser’s Hill and Genting Highlands.

On plans to open Langkawi to international tourists, Nancy said the matter is also being discussed with the relevant agencies.

“We are setting the criteria for international tourists to come other than having completed their vaccination. Once decided, we will open Langkawi to international tourists,” she said.

So far, the government has allowed intrastate tourism activities for states under Phase Two and above of the National Recovery Plan for fully vaccinated individuals, while the Langkawi domestic tourism bubble pilot project started on Sept 16.

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