The tourism sector has been flourishing with hotel reservations nationally increasing by up to 30,74% till June, said Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
She said that domestic tourists had filled hotels and that this had regenerated the nation's economy, which was seriously hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In terms of hotel reservations, from March, the occupancy rate was 18.29 percent. In April it dipped 8.86 percent because of the (COVID-19) peak (in Malaysia) and in May, during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), 9.63 percent.
“But until June 30, (occupancy) surged to 30.74 percent. This shows that the public is beginning to go out, they are brave enough to go out because the situation in the country is quite safe,” she told Bernama.
The Ministry has also worked closely with industry players in the tourism industry to tackle the COVID-19 impact.
“We always have engagements, discussions with tourism industry players and they give us ideas, which we use as feedback for the government,” she said as a guest on Bernama TV’s talk show programme, Ruang Bicara.
She said the Ministry would obtain guidelines from the Minister of Health and the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Foreign Affairs to help identify the "travel bubbles" green zones abroad.
“For example, we do not refer to Australia as a whole, perhaps just Perth,” she said.
The concept of 'green bubbles' or 'green lane' includes easing travel constraints between two or more countries with low local COVID-19 infection.
Nancy added that her ministry would also hold discussions with airline companies regarding the matter.
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