KUALA LUMPUR: Hotel occupancy rates have shown gradual signs of recovery after inter-district travel was allowed including the implementation of the travel bubble between states under the recovery movement control order, says Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
“Based on reports from Malaysian Association of Hotels, the occupancy in January was at 20% and dropped to 18% in February.
“However, room occupancy began inching up gradually to about 22% between March 7 and 14 shortly after inter-district travel was allowed and rose to about 34% between March 21 to 27 after the implementation of the travel bubble, ” she said when launching the Nearly Extinct National Heritage Food at OpenHouse in KLCC on Tuesday (April 6).
On cross-border travel, Nancy said presently only those with business dealings were allowed to enter the country under strict standard operating procedures set by the International Trade and Industry Ministry.
“They are already in the country for meetings but can also extend their stay for other activities such as golfing.
“However, their stay must be well planned and organised, ” she said.
"The ministry is also currently listing activities that would be promoted once green bubble travel is allowed between respective countries," added Nancy.
The inter-district travel ban was lifted on March 5 followed by limited tourism travel between recovery MCO states on March 10.
Kedah, Perak, Perlis, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, Putrajaya, Labuan and Negri Sembilan are under recovery MCO until April 14 while Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor and Kelantan remain under conditional MCO.
Those wishing to travel to recovery MCO states for tourism purposes can only do so using tour agency vehicles with tour agents seeking police permission to make the journey.
On a separate matter, Nancy said that the ministry was willing to work with private dining operators to promote the nation’s traditional food as a tourist attraction in lieu of borders opening up for travel again.
She also said Jabatan Warisan Negara has so far gazetted 213 traditional local dishes and desserts as national intangible heritage.