The news from Malaysia is generally very good. Travel restrictions are being carefully lifted nationwide, tourism destinations are being fast-tracked for an imminent reopening, and vaccination programmes are advancing at record-breaking pace. Malaysia is expected to officially move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and into an endemic phase by the end of October.
In August, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced in a televised speech that “more economic and social sectors can be opened up in stages, and we can get out of this pandemic (in a) more orderly and safely (manner).” Covid-19 restrictions have since been eased in eight states nationwide. People in these locations can now dine in at restaurants and engage in outdoor individual sports and interstate tourism, provided they have been vaccinated.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has confirmed Malaysia’s tourism sector is set to reopen in three phases, known as the National Recovery Plan (NRP). The first phase will involve ‘pilot destinations’, including Langkawi and Kuching. This approach will then be steadily scaled up and extended nationwide. Designated tier 4 locations will be allowed to welcome back international travel and inbound tourists.
Some locations have already reopened; the Terengganu tourism sector officially opened on 1 September for fully vaccinated visitors. The reopening includes popular island resorts like Pulau Kapas in Marang; Pulau Redang in Kuala Nerus; Pulau Tenggol, located near Dungun; and Tasik Kenyir, which is in Hulu Terengganu. All tourists must follow strict SOP during their stay.
On 2 September, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Melaka will enter Phase Two of the NRP, while Negri Sembilan will proceed to Phase Three on 4 September. This leaves Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya and Kedah as the only states and federal territories still in Phase One.
Malaysia is making excellent progress with vaccination drives. The latest figures from Our World in Data show that 35.2 million doses have been administered, with 15.2 million (47% of the population) people now fully vaccinated. In addition, 66.4% of the adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. In August alone, Malaysia administered 13.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses.
The target is now 100% of Malaysian adults fully inoculated by October – this is an acceleration of the original plan, which was for 80% of adults to be fully vaccinated by the first quarter of 2022. Helping to drive this progress toward immunity, the country received a total of 37.3 million vaccine doses in August, while another 21.9 million will arrive in the final quarter of the year. The remaining doses are expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2022.
The Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), along with various other key partners, such as the Malaysian Hotel Association and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, are working alongside the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) to finalise the roadmap for tourism’s revival post-lockdown. At present, the signs are certainly encouraging.
Panorama Destination Malaysia News:
We are using the hiatus offered to us by the global pandemic to prepare a range of new products, tours and services with a clear emphasis on safe and sustainable travel. Our new products will provide clients with clean, green travel to some of Malaysia’s most beautiful natural locations and traditional cultural highlights. Connecting green zones together, these tours will turn travel bubble discoveries into something truly memorable.
To ensure the safety of clients when they return, Panorama Destination has introduced a dedicated set of health and safety protocols, based on a company-wide Covid-19 policy. We have also achieved safety certification from internationally recognised organizations, and are a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ campaign.
Last year, Panorama Destination Malaysia achieved Travelife Partner status. This internationally recognised certification enables us to provide products and services that are more deeply rooted in sustainability; providing travel experiences that positively impact the environment and communities where we operate.
Panorama Destination works alongside Government and other DMCs in Malaysia, to ensure safe and standardised services for returning visitors. We continue to provide the latest breaking news regarding Covid-19 and its impact on tourism via our social media channels: