Vaccine passes a boon to non-tourism sectors too


By IVAN LOHRSN MURALI

IPOH: Vaccine passports would be a boost to the global tourism industry, not just in Malaysia.

Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association Perak Chapter chairman Jimmy Goh (pic) said with such a passport, people would be able to travel again, which would help revive the battered industry and the economy.

“It’s not only the industry here that will welcome the passport, as many other countries would be boosted by it too.

“People would be able travel safely and confidently. There are so many who are eager to travel again, whether it is abroad or locally.

“The tourism industry is currently in an ‘intensive care unit’ and badly requires help.

“Tourism also affects the transportation, accommodation and retail sectors, ” he said.

Talk about vaccine passports is growing globally as many countries look forward to reviving their economies.

The World Health Organisation, however, is against it due to the shortage of or unequal access to vaccines in many countries.

Fake vaccination certificates are also being sold online.

In Malaysia, those vaccinated will be issued with a digital certificate on their MySejahtera app.

Goh said the government should work towards creating a secure vaccine passport as soon as possible.

“They can probably work with a neighbouring Asian country first and then expand it to others.

“Singapore and South Korea are two countries that have done well in managing the pandemic.”

Ipoh City Watch president Dr Richard Ng also said it was important to have the passport as it could differentiate between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.

He said those with the passport can be allowed to carry out activities like travel or business.

“The passport can help identify those who have been vaccinated so that they are not deprived of their rights and opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Melaka Chapter chairman Goh Hock Gin said the vaccine passport can be in the form of a smartphone app or an identification document.

Melaka Tourism Business Club vice-chairman Dennis Samford felt Malaysia should consider the passport as other countries are also doing it.

He said the passport is one way to restore confidence in travel.

For ex-serviceman Rashid Md Nor, 59, getting inoculated is not “foolproof”.

“We have previously witnessed cases of vaccinated tourists from China testing positive when entering Sarawak, ” he said.

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