SOP for interstate tourism in place, says Nancy Shukri

PETALING JAYA: The standard operating procedures (SOP) for inter-state tourism are in place, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

"We are prepared and have SOP for various travel destinations. We are just waiting for the decision by the National Security Council and the announcement by the government," said the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister.

She added that her Ministry had also begun prior engagements with stakeholders abroad to get feedback on what needs to be done for the reopening of borders for international tourists.

"We have been in touch with our overseas directors to find out what are the expectations of those in these countries.

"This include matters such as what sort of vaccines was given and what are the SOP in place," she said.

At present, she said the focus will be given to regional destinations and more borders opening up by the year's end.

Nancy cited the reopening of Langkawi as a good example of reviving of the tourism sector.

She noted that the Langkawi travel bubble was expected to attract 200,000 local and foreign visitors following its launch on Sept 16.

"We reached 300,000 and have now exceeded 400,000. The numbers are expected to pass 600,000 by this month," she said at the launch of the The“Travel Safe Alliance” on Sunday (Oct 10).

The Alliance has been set up by four major local tourism players to prepare for inter-state and international borders reopening soon.

On the Alliance, Nancy said that she hopes all the relevant SOPs will be in place, adding that it will restore confidence in the tourism sector.

"We hope that all the standard operating procedures are in place. What we want to see is mobility of the people which will signify that the tourism sector will be opened in a more liberal manner soon,” she said

"We are also looking forward to the reopening of international borders after this," added Nancy at a virtual press conference after the launching of the Alliance in Langkawi on Sunday.

The four are the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers

and Suppliers (MACEOS), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and airlines under the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) consisting of Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and MASwings.

The members of the Alliance also signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) to introduce first-to-last mile label accreditation by the Bureau Veritas Certification Malaysia.

The labels, are “Travel Safe” label for travel and tour arrangements, “Clean & Safe Malaysia” for hotels and "SafeBE" for business events and convention venues.

Additionally, Malaysia Airlines will continue to be the flag bearer to vouch a seamless, safe and hygienic travel experience in line with its Fly Confidently campaign.

On this, Malaysia Airlines Group chief executive officer Capt Izham Ismail announced that the national carrier has scheduled three flights weekly between Langkawi and Singapore.

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