Malaysia has gradually reopened its borders to international travelers starting from last month by initiating the Langkawi International Travel Bubble plan, Tourism Malaysia Shanghai said during a recent networking event with travel and airline operators in Shanghai.
The tourism industry is among the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and is still on the path of struggling to recover.
The initiatives of Langkawi International Travel Bubble and Malaysia-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane both by air and land starting from late November were implemented after Malaysia reached its target immunity level set by the government, the Shanghai office of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board said.
Malaysia has vaccinated 97.5 percent of its adult population and 87 percent of its adolescents as of Wednesday and became one of the countries with a high vaccinated rate among its citizens.
In Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia have also reopened their borders to foreign tourists.
"Intraregional travel will first recover from the pandemic backed by the travelers' sentiment that people will start their international travel within short and medium haul destinations," said Wizani Rosmin, director of Tourism Malaysia Shanghai.
Various findings and research on how post-pandemic travel will look have revealed new travel behaviors and patterns, such as demand for unique and niche products associated with experiencing tourism products, more popular staycation and RV recreational vehicle travel, he said.
Technological advancement to increase travelers' safety and security and many more have driven tourism to become more quality and sustainability-oriented in the future, he said.
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