Tourism industry players expect more challenges from extension of MCO


Local shops like Kluang Rail Coffee still enjoy a steady business during recovery MCO. — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: Tourism industry players in Johor expect the extension of the recovery movement control order (MCO) until December to be a challenging period for them.

Johor Tourist Guides Association chairman Jimmy Leong said that with uncertainties and fear of infection, many would stay away.

“The only ‘cure’ to this matter is finding a vaccine for Covid-19.

“We hope this will become a reality soon and things can go back to normal.

“The extension is a direct hit to the tourism industry, with many in the sector facing unemployment,” he said.

Leong said that given the current scenario, it would be a long time before tourists were allowed to come into the country.

“Many licensed tourist guides are at their wit’s end and trying to earn a livelihood doing other things while waiting out this period.

“We hope local tourists visiting places of interest in Johor will increase and help us through these hard times,” he added.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Johor chapter chairman Ivan Teo said Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry must have measures in place to help those affected and also keep them updated on the situation from time to time.

“It is always better for hoteliers to know the truth so that we can find a solution or do what is best for us.”

Teo further said, “Given these difficult times, we have to find innovative ways to stay in business.

“Hoteliers used to be outward-looking but now we have to focus on the local community for support.”

He said it would be a tough battle but it was not impossible to overcome.

“With more ideas and innovation, we will be able to attract both local businesses and local communities to enjoy our facilities,” he added.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the recovery MCO to stem the spread of Covid-19 would be extended to Dec 31.

He said the decision took into account the recent emergence of new clusters and the number of daily new cases.

Muhyiddin said that while the nation was handling the crisis well, the ongoing spikes had raised concerns that the pandemic had yet to run its course.

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