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Suspend entry of tourists from China, tourism body tells govt

The Malaysia Tourism Agency Association cites the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in China as the country lifts its pandemic restrictions.

1 minute read
Travellers queue at the immigration counter at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.
Travellers queue at the immigration counter at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.

The Malaysia Tourism Agency Association (Mata) has urged the government to suspend the entry of tourists from China until the daily Covid-19 caseload in the country decreases.

Mata president Mohd Khalid Harun said the recent surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in China had increased the potential for new variants to emerge, causing concern to Malaysians, especially tourism industry players.

"We are all aware that hospitals across China are facing explosions of Covid-19 cases following Beijing's decision to withdraw their strict regulations.

"The trauma faced by players in the tourism industry due to the Covid-19 outbreak has yet to be resolved. In fact, many travel agencies and hotels have been closed due to the virus incurring billions of ringgit in losses in the past two years," he said in a statement.

Khalid said he hoped that this would not recur as tourism industry players were still in the process of recovery.
He said that many foreign countries had tightened the entry requirements for tourists or businessmen from China for the time being to curb the spread of Covid-19 in their countries.

He also advised industry players to shift their focus to tourists from the Middle East and Europe without relying on tourists from China for now.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook previously said Malaysia would see a surge in flight demand following the reopening of China’s borders, which will be implemented by its government on Jan 8 after nearly three years.

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