Calling all Indonesian travellers

JAKARTA: Tourism Malaysia is courting Indonesian tourists in a big way to Langkawi, after nearly two years of border closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, travellers can spend quality time with family and friends on the island without the need to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Spearheading the promotional campaign in Indonesia is Tourism Malaysia’s Jakarta deputy director Haryanty Abu Bakar.

She said Tourism Malaysia had received very positive response from Indonesian travel agents since the Langkawi travel bubble was announced.

“They’re excited and want to know more about the programme,” she told Bernama, adding that its current virtual travel mart roadshows will be intensified with the help of 200 travel agents across Indonesia.

Tourism Malaysia has so far conducted roadshows in Yogyakarta, Jakarta and its surrounding areas.

Elaborating further, she said Indonesian travellers have to produce a booking confirmation from registered travel agents, printed return flight tickets, as well as travel and medical insurance coverage of US$80,000 (RM320,000).

In accordance with government regulations, Haryanty stressed that they should also provide a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test result or do their test upon arrival at the airport, and they are free to join all activities on the island if they test negative.

“Indonesian travellers are allowed to travel to any allowed states in Malaysia after a seven-day stay, except areas declared as under the enhanced movement control order.

“They can choose whether to use a tour package under a tour operator registered and licensed with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry or continue as free independent travellers,” Haryanty added.

Before the pandemic, she said 3.6 million Indonesian tourists travelled to Malaysia in 2019.

In Kuantan, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Indonesia has been proposed as the second country for the implementation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Malaysia, after Singapore.

He said the VTL, if implemented, would initially involve two locations in Indonesia, namely Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur-Bali routes, before being followed by other routes.

“We do not have a time frame on when it can be done but we hope it starts early next year as discussed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his previous visit to Indonesia.

“However, we are being careful in opening the country’s borders, especially with the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant from Africa which is more aggressive,” said Saifuddin, who is also the Pahang Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chief.

He said this at a press conference after attending the party’s Indera Mahkota division annual conference yesterday.

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