Tourism Pahang has identified potential tourist destinations to be reopened under the green bubble concept, pending approval from the National Security Council (NSC).
Tourism Pahang general manager Kamaruddin Ibrahim said Fraser's Hill in Raub and Pulau Tioman in Rompin will be among the first tourism spots to resume operations in Pahang.
"Both Fraser's Hill and Pulau Tioman have achieved herd immunity after more than 80 percent of the adult population there have completed their vaccination (both doses). Those in Taman Negara in Jerantut are expected to complete their vaccination by mid-August.
"Residents and staff in Genting Highlands will complete their vaccination this weekend while tourism industry operators and villagers in Janda Baik are expected to finalise theirs within the next two weeks. The vaccination process has been ramped up in Cameron Highlands," he said when contacted.
He said any decision on the implementation of the tourism bubble in Pahang will largely depend on the approval and standard operating procedures (SOP) allowed by the NSC.
On July 25, State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin was quoted saying the Pahang government and the NSC were reviewing the appropriate SOPs to revive the state's tourism sector which had long been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, a Tourism Pahang officer, who declined to be named, said selected tourism products are ready to reopen and the required SOPs for the premises to resume business have been drafted.
"The only setback now is the increase in the number of daily Covid-19 cases and there has been no decision if there are plans to allow interstate or inter-district travel. If not interstate, at least allowing inter-district travel in Pahang would certainly pave the way for the implementation of the tourism bubble.
"The state government will prepare the tourism SOP and hand it to the NSC to look into. It depends on the decision taken by the NSC after studying our SOPs...they will have the final say.
"The SOPs provided under the green bubble are strict as only selected hotels will be open for holidaymakers. The local authorities will identify the hotels or resorts where all the staff have completed their vaccination before issuing a certificate," he said.
Citing several examples, he said other measures include no sharing equipment during snorkelling activities in Pulau Tioman, allowing only small groups to take boat rides or trekking at Taman Negara, and no camping activities.
"It will take some time before we can allow normal crowds at tourist destinations but the state has made early plans to resume tourism under the green bubble concept. We have everything in place but the permission largely depends on the Covid-19 cases," he said.
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