Pahang tourism, hotel sectors happy borders will finally reopen

By TIN Media | Pahang Published 10 months ago on 14 March 2022
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PAHANG:

The much-awaited announcement that the hospitality industry had been eagerly looking forward to for a long time was finally made.

That is how the hotel and tourism associations in Pahang described the government's decision to reopen the country's borders after some two years beginning next month.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Pahang chapter chairman Patrick Tee described the news as a 'special moment' for hoteliers as they can now start making plans, including offering promotions.

"It will likely be a slow start but something is better than nothing. Maybe popular destinations like Pulau Tioman, Taman Negara and Cameron Highlands will be top choices followed by other areas but it will be best to take one step at a time.

"We hope the government will not be too strict with the standard operating procedures (SOP) for tourism as this might jeopardise arrivals. A clear SOP offering a win-win situation for both hoteliers and holiday-makers has to be implemented," he said when contacted.

Tee said the reopening of borders in April certainly brings more good news as hoteliers will be busy promoting their Ramadan buffets which will be followed by the Aidilfitri holidays.

"It could be back to busy days again with the arrival of both domestic and foreign visitors. This could be the first step to revive the economy, hire more staff and get the industry back on track," he said.

Meanwhile, Pahang's Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Chapter deputy chairman Chea Sin Cheak said although things might not be the same as before the Covid-19 pandemic era, it might allow industry players to breathe a little easier.

"We had tourists arriving in huge groups before the pandemic and it might need some time to return to the old days. Industry players have a role to play by promoting new tourist destinations along with attractive holiday packages.

"Now everyone is waiting for the SOP announcement before they can get down to work. Let's hope that there will be no further setbacks and the tourism sector can resume operations in full swing next month onwards," he said.

Pahang recorded 13.9 million tourist arrivals in 2019, bringing in a revenue of RM15 billion. However, the sector was severely affected after the country shut its borders in March 2020.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced Malaysia is finally ready to fully reopen its international borders from April 1.


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