KUALA LUMPUR: With the long weekend coming up, tourism industry players have advised Malaysians to plan their trips well and to adhere to the government’s standard operating procedure (SOP) on Covid-19 to ensure that everyone stays safe.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said everyone should see themselves as a frontliner and to remind each other to comply with the SOP.
It was pointless to deter people from travelling to tourist destinations such as Langkawi as “life has to go on” despite the pandemic, she said.
“The only way is to make sure that each and everyone of us will comply with the SOP and remind each other of it. That’s why (the slogan) says ‘kita jaga kita’ (we take care of each other), ” she told a press conference after the launch of the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia TV promotional campaign yesterday.
The campaign is one of Tourism Malaysia’s initiatives to boost domestic tourism. It will be broadcast on mainstream media and on social media platforms.
The five promotional videos that were produced highlights several tourism themes and products such as islands and beaches, diving and underwater activities, nature and adventure, and food.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) secretary-general Nigel Wong also urged travellers travelling this weekend to observe the SOP and to protect themselves with the necessary personal protective equipment.
“Although there are many travellers on the road, they should try their best to avoid gathering in places where there are very large crowds. Plan your itinerary accordingly so that you have enough time to travel and visit the various attractions, ” he said.
Wong said the failure to plan could result in congestion and long waiting lines.
Last week, images were circulated on social media of a Kuala Perlis ferry terminal crowded with Langkawi-bound holidaymakers. It caused an uproar as there was no physical distancing among the huge group of people.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Tourism Federation chief operating officer Franklin Simon said the freedom of movement that people had now did not mean that they should forget about following the SOP.
“We should follow the SOP set by the government and maintain the highest level of hygiene at all times during our travel.
“My advice for holiday-goers is to book their tours and travels with a licensed local tour operator.
“Engaging licensed tour operators which come with qualified and licensed tour guides, as well as excursion vehicles, will ensure the safety and compliance with all SOP throughout the duration of the tour.
“So, people can travel confidently and avoid unnecessary risks, ” he said.