Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) continues to refine its solutions for a reopening of the country to international tourism. The latest proposal, which complements the existing ‘green zones’ plan, would focus on speciality tourism activities such as golf, diving, snorkelling and other self-contained experiences.
Nancy Shukri, who is MOTAC’s minister, has confirmed that officials are working to promote and reopen sports and experiential travel in Malaysia. This scheme would include fishing, snorkelling, sailing and trekking tours in the country’s outlying islands and designated green zones, where Covid-19 has been successfully contained.
MOTAC’s concept paper is currently under consideration at the Health Ministry, the National Security Council and the National Disaster Management Agency. If approved, the plan would allow foreign arrivals to experience reciprocal green lanes or travel bubbles between areas that have been confirmed safe for travel. Malaysia is currently working on setting up travel lanes with neighbouring countries and key target demographics for this purpose.
“We need to be creative and find new ways of looking at the travel bubbles,” explains Shukri, who has also emphasised the importance of ensuring standardised safety controls are implemented in all sites where the new scheme would be in operation. According to the minister, this will require high-level cooperation between international governments, working closely with tour providers at the local level.
Shukri also recommended that the Malaysian government should make it compulsory for foreign tourists entering the country to employ the services of registered travel agents to ensure compliance with the safety measures set by the government, and to ensure that official tour itineraries mitigate the risks of Covid-19.
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