Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri expects the tourism industry to rally by the second or third quarter of next year, with several strategies in line to help boost its recovery.
She said tourists must be assured of the new post-pandemic norms, adding that Malaysia was known for practising good standard operating procedures.
“We have also identified green-zone countries for Malaysia to open its borders to in the near future,” she said.
Adding that discussions were being held with the country leaders, she said Malaysia was awaiting the green light from them.
“It’s not so much about us not wanting to open our country’s borders,” she said. “There must be an agreement between Malaysia and the other countries.”
She also spoke of assistance for Sarawak in boosting its tourism industry, saying the state had “missed out” on much.
“Sarawak has contributed a lot to the country, especially oil and gas, so it deserves to be given more assistance,” she said, adding that her ministry is working towards this end with its counterpart in the state.
She said discussions are also ongoing on re-joining the Malaysia Tourism Board, adding however that these remain at the informal level.
Sarawak withdrew its representative from the board in 2017 after a disagreement with the federal government over the introduction of a new tourism tax.
Sarawak Tourism Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah meanwhile said he had discussed the matter with Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, and that the prospects looked good.
He also urged Putrajaya to review changes to laws pertaining to tourism, saying Sarawak had not been consulted when the industry was placed on the federal list in 1994.
Adding that it was a residual power, he said tourism should fall under the state’s purview, to be reviewed by both federal and state governments.
“It cannot be completely under the federal government’s purview.
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