Nancy Shukri: Malaysia in midst of identifying travel bubbles with other nations

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia is in the midst of identifying travel bubbles, apart from Singapore, as it waits for countries to open up borders amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourism, Arts and Culture minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (pic) said like Malaysia, many other countries were still not opening up their borders to travellers.

“But we have to remember, the closing and opening of borders is not only for tourism purposes but for security reasons, ” she said after the National Tourism Policy 2020-2030 road show here on Thursday (April 22).

As for the Sabah-Singapore travel bubble plans, she said it was still at the planning stage.

On this, State Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said Singapore has agreed to discuss the possibility further.

He said parties including tour agents, who wish to explore travel bubbles apart from Singapore, could apply and propose the idea to the ministry.

On another matter, Nancy explained that although inter-district (for Sabah) and inter-state travel were still not allowed, promotional activities in terms of tour packages still need to go on continuously.

She said this is so that preparations are made with SOPs put in place to prepare for the opening-up of the tour industry on a bigger scale when the time comes.

“As for Sabah, I was told that there is a zoning mechanism implemented, whereby districts are grouped into zones and those who live within these districts can travel within them, ” she said.

Nancy said this means tourism activities can still go on.

She also said that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is pushing for niche tourism products and would continue to propose them until the Federal Government approves.

Earlier in the event, speakers shared ways to prepare and attract returning tourists when the time comes, how to adapt to new norms post-pandemic

They spoke on the importance or improving tour packages, tourism products, applying technology in their operations and preparing for a better and more conducive comeback for the industry.

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