After months of travel bans and restrictions, Malaysians are finally allowed to travel within the country. On June 7, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the country will be going through the recovery movement control order (MCO) from June 10 to Aug 31. Under the recovery MCO, interstate travel will be allowed, effectively opening up the domestic tourism sector in Malaysia.
National carrier Malaysia Airlines, as well as AirAsia and Malindo have also announced that they will gradually increase their domestic flight frequencies, to meet the demands of customers who are itching to return to their hometowns or just go somewhere for a long-awaited holiday.
In fact, many travel experts were actually of the opinion that Malaysians will probably keep their holidays close to home in the near foreseeable future.
Editor's note: Scroll down for three specially curated travel itineraries that cover island, rainforest and homestay holidays in Malaysia.
“If we look at the worldwide situation amid Covid-19, we will not be expecting international travel to be the same as before.
“Apart from managing expectations and confidence, economic pressures will set limitations on travellers in the future, ” Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said in an interview.
Marriott International area vice president (Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives) Rivero Delgado expects Malaysians to opt for staycations close to home.
“Travel in this new world will look different and our approach towards tourism is evolving in congruence with it. People will want options that are closer to home, safer, and more affordable, ” she said.The preference for domestic holidays is also echoed by Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang.
“After the pandemic is over, it is recommended to travel closer to home. Furthermore, it is much easier for the government or industry stakeholders to do emergency evacuation within the country, ” he said.
ALSO READ: Why is it so important for Malaysians to travel local post Covid-19?
Tourism Malaysia director general Datuk Musa Yusof said Malaysians should prioritise making their first trips within Malaysia.
“We would strongly urge our fellow Malaysians to prioritise travelling local as a way to help our local businesses and boost the domestic economy, ” he said.
Musa suggests making a list of places to discover and go on food trips to look out for the best local delicacies in every state.
“We sincerely hope that every Malaysian will join us and become Malaysia’s own ambassadors in spreading good vibes and positivity as they travel within the country, ” he said.
With the help of Tourism Malaysia, here are three specially curated itineraries to help you plan a Cuti-Cuti Malaysia and experience the country again.
Malaysia, with its rich and diverse ecosystem, has a thriving ecotourism scene boasting renowned national and state parks. The country is thriving with unique wildlife and lush tropical rainforests, all of which can be found at these gazetted venues.
The forests in the country don’t get any older than the ones at Taman Negara. Taman Negara – which is Bahasa Malaysia for national park – is regarded as one of the oldest in the world. Its forests were already flourishing when Earth’s tectonic plates were still shifting!
The park extends across the states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu.
Malaysia has its fair share of gorgeous island getaways that almost always make it to the bucket list of island and beach lovers (and for very good reasons). Think clear waters, sandy beaches and deep-sea diving.
Some hidden gems to consider include Mataking Island and Lankayan Island in Sabah; Tenggol Island in Terengganu and Aur Island in Johor.
Of course, there are the more popular options too such as Pangkor, Tioman, Perhentian, Sipadan and Redang.
Have you always wanted to experience life in a traditional Malaysian village? Then a local homestay or kampung stay experience is just for you.
It’s worth noting that the Malaysian homestay programme can also help with economic recovery in rural areas.
But that aside, a kampung stay allows you to experience authentic culture. Some of these include preparation of food using traditional methods, going to the orchard to harvest fruits or feeding livestock in the farm.
Alternatively, you can also explore the natural surroundings with the family. And in the eve-ning, join cultural dances, musical performances or even witness a mock wedding ceremony.
Some notable progammes are Mengkuang Titi Homestay (Penang), Homestay Parit Bugis (Johor) and the award-winning Misompuru Homestay (Sabah).
Depending on which village you stay at, activities may differ. Below is a sample itinerary.
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