KUALA LUMPUR: The government will discuss in the next few days the possibility of allowing interstate travel to help revive domestic tourism, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said the ministry had listed several destinations including Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands and Fraser's Hill that would attract tourists once interstate travel is allowed.
"InsyaAllah, we will be discussing within the next two or three days to allow interstate travels," she said in reply to a supplementary question from Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (IND-Muar) during Question Time.
Syed Saddiq asked the ministry whether the pilot travel bubble project implemented in Langkawi would be expanded to other places outside of island destinations.
Langkawi recently opened its doors to fully-vaccinated domestic travellers as a part of the pilot travel bubble project.
Nancy noted that since tourism is all about mobility, the national economy will improve once it is allowed.
"That is exactly what we want. Our agenda is to help those in the tourism sector who were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic," she said.
Asked about the ministry's long-term plan to allow international tourists to return to the country, Nancy said the ministry already had a plan for this.
"That is why we chose Langkawi (for the travel bubble pilot).
"Firstly, it has a huge population and it is focused in our area.
"Secondly, Langkawi has its own international airport which allows international flights," she explained.
She added that several discussions have already been held not only under her ministry but also by other agencies on the issue.
"Once Langkawi becomes a successful project, we will allow interstate travel," she said.
Nancy said the estimated loss in tourism revenue last year was RM135bil.
"The number is expected to rise this year especially due to the implementation of the current movement control order which is still ongoing," she said.