Umrah allowed to resume from Feb 8, says Nancy Shukri

By TIN Media | Tourism Malaysia Published 7 months ago on 27 January 2022
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MALAYSIA:

Muslims in Malaysia can resume their umrah trips from Feb 8. Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the Cabinet made the decision yesterday following the umrah postponement due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

Nancy said the government had no intention to extend the postponement which had been in effect from Jan 8 and a new standard 
operating procedures (SOP) would be available after discussions with all relevant stakeholders, including umrah travel agencies.

"The new SOP will be discussed with umrah travel agencies because we want to make sure that returnees will get to decide where to undergo quarantine," she said.

Meanwhile, she said Malaysia is set to be promoted as a preferred eco-tourism destination in the world as the country's tourism industry gears up for a rebound this year.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the shift towards ecotourism is in line with the changing pattern in tourists' preference for tourism products and destinations.

The Covid-19 pandemic, she said, had altered the world travel landscape as lockdowns and movement restrictions by countries around the globe left the tourism industry grounded.

"Globally, the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) stated that we has gone from one billion people travelling across continents in 2019 to only 400 million people travelling in 2021.

"Locally, tourism arrivals went down from 26 million in 2019 to only eight million in 2021. Indeed, the pandemic was challenging. But, it also acted as a 'pause-button' and gave us time to think seriously on what is it about Malaysia that makes us unique.

"Now, we hope that we are reaching the end of the tunnel. The reopening of Malaysia is on the horizon for everyone around the world to come," she said, during the launch ceremony of the Dream Malaysia videos at the EQ Hotel, here, today.

The Dream Malaysia campaign was first launched in March last year as a video contest for Malaysians to capture and document their memories and experiences at tourism destinations across the country.
The contest garnered a total of 133 participations from travel enthusiasts in the country.

She said a Cabinet yesterday also decided to allow Muslims to perform the umrah, which has been put on hold due to Omicron spread, from Feb 8.

Nancy said the government had no intention to extend the postponement which had been in effect from Jan 8 and a new standard operating procedures (SOP) would be available after discussions with all relevant stakeholders, including umrah travel agencies.
"The new SOP will be discussed with umrah travel agencies because we want to make sure that returnees will get to decide where to be undergo quarantine," she said.


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