Minister hopes industry players will offer exciting packages with strict SOPs in order for the public to travel with peace of mind
by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE government has approved the domestic travel bubble and aims to revive domestic tourism by implementing various initiatives with transportation and accommodation providers, said Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (picture).
According to Nancy, travellers going from one green zone to another will not need police clearance. However, passing through a red zone will need permission from the Royal Malaysia Police.
“We want to encourage people to travel to revive domestic tourism, as well as create and promote niche products like ecotourism, agrotourism and spa deals.
“The domestic tourism sector has the ability to vastly contribute to the country. As noted from the Tourism Satellite Account, RM92.6 billion was spent on domestic travel in 2019,” she said to reporters at a press conference yesterday.
Nancy said some of the initiatives will include accommodation packages with the Malaysian Association of Hotels and e-commerce platform, Shopee Malaysia.
“Travellers can use the Shopee e-marketplace platform to book their stays and be rewarded with rebate vouchers.
“For example, they can opt to book a minimum stay of three days and two nights, and receive vouchers worth RM50 and RM100 depending on the category of hotels. We target to sell 43, 983 hotel rooms via this package,” she said.
This campaign will be exclusively for Malaysians and will run from December 2020 till February 2021.
Nancy said flight deals with airlines including Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), AirAsia Group Bhd, FlyFirefly Sdn Bhd and Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd will be available for those wanting to cross green zone states.
“MAB and Firefly are offering discounts of RM50 or RM100 for an economy class return ticket. AirAsia is also offering RM50 in rebate vouchers and targeting a maximum of 24,000 people, while Malindo will give RM50 in discounts for the first 6,000 bookings made,” she said.
Nancy hoped industry players will offer exciting packages, while keeping in mind the different standard operating procedures (SOPs) to enable the public to travel with peace of mind.
“I would also like to see people using the services of local travel agents as we have registered agents under our purview as well.
“We need to work together to help stimulate the country’s economy as we have already experienced loss this year,” she said.
Malaysia registered 4.25 million tourist arrivals in the first half of this year, a drop of 68.2% from the same period last year, while tourist expenditure recorded RM12.5 billion for the first six months of this year, a decrease of 69.8% from RM41.6 billion.
“The tourism and culture industry lost about RM45 billion this year, but we can survive this.
“I encourage people to travel responsibly using the mechanisms and initiatives by the ministry, while we continue to work together with the different travel industry players to bring stability to the industry and the economy,” Nancy noted.