Domestic tourism is equally helpful in reviving the industry, says MCTA

By TIN Media | Domestic Published 6 months ago on 26 March 2022
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Domestic tourism is equally important in rejuvenating the industry, said Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) president Paul Paw.

He said the tourism industry has been suffering for 26 months prior to the government's announcement to reopen international borders next week.

"With the resumption of travelling activities on April 1, we need to change our style of doing business. In the past, we could bring in big groups of 30 to 40 people. Now it is not easy to get that size, but business must go on.

"Since many countries including China and Japan are still closed for holidaymakers, the focus on the domestic sector is very important to help rejuvenate the industry," he said during the business-to-business networking session between members of MCTA Sabah and Sarawak held at a hotel here.

Sabah Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) chairman Vincent Sia said all this while, a lot of focus was put on outbound travelling but now the association wants to promote domestic destinations.

For now, he said, travellers should visit world-famous destinations such as Mount Kinabalu in Ranau, Danum Valley Conservation Areas, Lahad Datu and Sipadan Island.

Prior to Covid-19, Sia added, those places were always full of foreigners who had made advanced reservations.

"International tourists would always plan their holiday one year ahead, unlike the locals who would only check their calendar if they realised there are public holidays around the corner," he said, adding Sabah also offers unique community-based tourism in the rural areas and beautiful islands in the east coast of Sabah.

Penang MCTA chairman Andy Chuah, in echoing the importance of domestic tourism, said he hoped that more airlines will fly between Penang and Sabah.

He said by doing so, competitive airfares can be offered to encourage people to travel within the country.

"We also need the travel agents to support the airlines in order for them to sustain their flying operations to bring in more tourists," said Chuah.

Beginning next month, Firefly, a member of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) will replace Malaysia Airlines (MAS) in flying direct on a daily basis between Penang and Kota Kinabalu.

Earlier, the entourage from Sabah and Sarawak also paid a courtesy call on Penang Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin at Komtar Tower here.



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