Goodies galore for local tourists

PETALING JAYA: With year-end festivities around the corner, players in the tourism industry are offering specialised packages to spur an industry which has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the conditional movement control order has been extended, the government rescinded an interstate travel ban that many in the industry are hoping will result in Malaysians travelling again.

The travel industry is reliant on the domestic market as Malaysia has closed its borders to those from outside the country.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said the industry is hoping for locals to reinstate cancelled plans for year-end holidays and take advantage of special deals curated by hotels for the domestic market. He said while locals will first target popular destinations such as Langkawi, Penang, Ipoh and even Genting Highlands, he is confident Malaysians will find many other less travelled destinations around the country with exciting offers.

The government, for its part, introduced the website to promote travel offers and packages.

Legoland Malaysia is also offering a Day Combo pass of its theme park and Sea Life Aquarium from RM210 while a three-day, two-night package at Taman Negara in Pahang can also be booked starting from RM393.

Civil servants are able to enjoy Sunway Lagoon Theme Park day pass starting from RM128.

Yap said MAH with Tourism Malaysia in collaboration with Roomie Travels had earlier launched a series of hotel stay deals vouchers that allow flexible stay periods up to next year.

Yap said there will be more collaboration between MAH and Tourism Malaysia through online shopping platform Shopee, where Malaysians can take advantage of hotel deals with special vouchers.

This is expected to go live by the end of December, with hotel stay deals that are valid till 2021.

“While we are expecting to see increase in travel, it will likely not be as good as the first recovery MCO in June. The current situation is not as favourable as then, looking at daily increases in Covid-19 cases, and more so with Kuala Lumpur’s extended CMCO, a major market source for domestic tourist.

“Nevertheless, we foresee a short- term surge of travels driven by pent-up demand for this period, ” he said, adding that tourism in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Sarawak and the East Coast due to the current monsoon period will likely remain low for now.While the conditional movement control order (MCO) was extended in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur until Dec 20, the government rescinded a travel ban. Only those placed under the enhanced MCO will not be able to travel.

Airlines are also playing their part to boost tourism, with Malay-sia Airlines’ tour operating arm

MHholidays launching its Trip and Tours product, where customers could enjoy up to 25% discount on bundle packages, including flights, hotel and tourism activities.

AirAsia meanwhile has a three-day sale until Dec 9 on all Malaysian domestic flights for a travel period from Dec 14 to June 30 next year, with BIG members enjoying fares as low as RM12 one-way.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said those left standing will do the very best to generate revenue.

He said marketing lead time is short due to uncertainty and last minute announcements on the conditional MCO, but industry players will try their best.

He said after the MCO was lifted in June, they managed to pick up a bit but the conditional MCO in the Klang Valley and Sabah made it harder for a comeback.

Kedah and Perlis MAH vice-chairman Razmi Rahmat told Bernama that almost all the members of the association, especially in Langkawi, are now offering discounts of between 50% and 70%.

According to water sports operators on the island, prices for island activity packages have been slashed by half, with bookings valid until Dec 31,2021.

Malaysian Tourism Council president Uzaidi Udanis said the majority who are likely to travel are those wanting to “balik kampung” to visit family in their home states.

He said some tour operators are targeting them with packages to stay close to their hometowns for an extra night or two.

“They will be able to bring along their parents or in-laws for a short holiday nearby rather than at faraway places, ” he said, giving the example of Pengkalan Chepa in Kelantan and Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan.

He said the period until Chinese New Year would be critical where people would spend the most before it is reduced until Hari Raya.

“We have to learn to live with the virus, ” he said.

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