Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) is busy making preparations for a return to normal tourism operations. The ministry has prepared a range of standard operating procedures (SOP) to be implemented across all tourism activities when borders reopen. These measures focus primarily on Covid-19 screening tests as a prerequisite for entry to Malaysia.
Speaking at the 2020-2030 National Tourism Policy Roadshow session on 22 March, MOTAC Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri confirmed the centrality of screening protocols in the ministry’s plan for reopening to international tourists. “Besides that, other related SOPs include using registered tourism agents and travelling in small groups,” she said.
According to MOTAC, Malaysia intends to open and promote certain tourism activities, to ensure a smooth and safe transition to normal operations. “The activities we’re targeting to reopen to foreign tourists include golf and outdoor activities such as snorkelling and diving,” said Shukri at the event, which was also attended by Melaka Tourism, Heritage and Culture committee chairman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis.
The first step in Malaysia’s revival will be to establish a travel bubble, which tourists from six nations are permitted to enter and enjoy their holidays in line with the new SOP and promotional strategy from MOTAC. So far, six Asian countries have been approved for entry to the tourism bubble. These are Singapore, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, China and Brunei.
The minister later expanded on her National Tourism Policy, “The goal is only one, which is to guarantee the continuity of the country’s travel industry through competitive strengthening,” explained the minister, in a post she published via Facebook. She also added that MOTAC would be focused on ensuring “restoration of the tourism industry effectively continuing in the new norm, sustainable and inclusive travel sector development, and the willingness to face any uncertain situation in the future.”
The date of reopening for Malaysia’s international borders is still under discussion by the Federal Government and will be confirmed in due course. Their decision will be made according to the latest Covid-19 situation and in response to the most reliable projections for the future.
For more information about Covid-19 conditions in Malaysia, read our situation report.