Malaysia’s plan to open its borders for international tourists may take longer with cases of the Omicron variant surging in different parts of the world.
The South-East Asian country, which was expected to allow tourists within its borders from January 1, 2022, will stick to quarantine measures for a foreseeable period, said Zainuddin Abdul Wahab, Tourism Malaysia’s Director-General, during an event at the Malaysia Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020.
All tourists arriving in Malaysia, including from UAE, have to be quarantined in the country’s Langkawi region for seven days before proceeding to other areas. “The original plan was to try this arrangement for a three-month period, but with cases surging it is hard to predict anything,” said Wahab.
Last month, Malaysia reopened its land and air borders for Singaporean citizens through a vaccinated travel lane (VTL) arrangement.
Wahab, who could not immediately provide figures for UAE tourists in Malaysia in 2021, said he expects numbers to improve considerably in 2022. Overall, Malaysia plans to attract eight million visitors in the coming year, compared to about four million in 2021.
“Domestic tourism will still be the key pillar of Malaysia’s tourism sector,” said Wahab.
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