The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has called on the government to develop a tourism recovery strategy.
The industry will be able to make strategic plans and preparations, as well as coordinate their recovery efforts with the government, according to Honorary Secretary-General Nigel Wong.
“The tourism industry is still a long way from recovery, and it won't be able to completely recover until both domestic and foreign borders are reopened.
As a result, Matta is encouraging the government to develop a tourism recovery strategy, according to a statement.
Matta and some of its most important national and prominent partners, such as the Malaysian Hotel Association and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, will continue to collaborate with and support the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its relevant agencies, according to Wong.
He went on to say that the association is ready to work with other government agencies to re-imagine and re-empower the local tourism industry in order to prepare for the future.
“As several countries around the world have shown, domestic tourism is critical to the long-term viability of the local tourism industry.
“The industry has already made substantial preparations to ensure that Malaysians can safely resume domestic travel and businesses can begin organizing events and conferences once the movement control order (MCO) 3.0 is lifted,” he said.
According to the Malaysian Department of Statistics, 239 million people visited the country in 2019, up 8.1% from 2018.
Domestic tourists invested RM103.2 billion in 2019, an increase of 11.5 percent year on year.
“The domestic travel bubble, like many other similar initiatives around the world, is nothing more than a tool for enforcing required operating procedures on tourists and tourism operators.
“If found guilty of deliberately ignoring or breaching the standard operating procedures, action must be taken against passengers or operators,” he said, referring to a group of tourists who visited the Genting Highlands casino recently amid the pandemic.
He also applauded the government's decision not to enforce a complete shutdown of the economy.
Wong believes that striking a balance between saving lives and preserving livelihoods is critical for the country's post-pandemic recovery.
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