KUALA LUMPUR: Following the success of the Langkawi travel bubble, domestic tourism will soon be allowed again, tentatively on Oct 1, at three destinations – Melaka, Pulau Tioman and Genting Highlands, says Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
Nancy said the proposal to reopen these three destinations were deliberated in the Second Ministerial Quartet Meeting on Covid-19 on Tuesday (Sept 21) and will be brought to the Special Committee on Pandemic management chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Thursday (Sept 23).
Nancy said there are tentative plans to allow these three locations to reopen on Oct 1 and that authorities would further deliberate the SOPs.
"We have identified these three locations and two weeks will be given so that these tourist destinations can take the necessary preparations to re-operate," she said at a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 21).
Nancy also said several SOPs needed to be deliberated by the authorities.
"For example, should swab tests be compulsory? The same goes for Langkawi because there are many entry points. So we need to deliberate the SOPs," she added.
Nancy also said the recent travel bubble pilot project at Langkawi was viewed as a success.
"The performance at Langkawi gave us new hope for us to reopen other destinations," she said.
She also said there were plans to reopen other destinations for domestic tourism and not just islands.
Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who was also at the press conference, said interstate travel would be gradually allowed as the pandemic heads towards an endemic phase in the country.
He also reminded Malaysians to abide by SOPs all the time to ensure Covid-19 is kept at bay.
"Hence, the hashtag #ReopeningSafely. We must all be very responsible.
"Nevertheless, what is important here is that there is light at the end of the tunnel (for tourism)," he added.
On Monday (Sept 20), Nancy told the Dewan Rakyat that the estimated loss in tourism revenue last year was RM135bil.