KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — The government’s decision to allow domestic tourism activities for fully vaccinated individuals in states under Phase Two and Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) will be able to revive the tourism industry which has long been stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malaysian Association of Tour Agency (MATA) president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said the reopening of the domestic tourism industry was important to offset the losses and increase the income of the local community in the field.
He also described the decision as great news for all MATA members, especially hotels and homestays that have been allowed to reopen business.
“MATA would like to urge all members to ensure that their employees have completed two doses of Covid-19 vaccine and must meet the time period set for individuals to be considered fully vaccinated as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“MATA hopes that all members would ensure that all their employees and visitors fully comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the National Security Council (NSC),” he said in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, Yayasan Pelancongan Negara chief operating officer Dr Fathir Badri Alhadad, the announcement was a big relief to the country’s tourism industry.
He said the opening of the tourism sector in a controlled manner would help stimulate the local economy which had been badly affected since March last year.
“States such as Penang, Perak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Sabah, Perlis, Sarawak and Labuan will definitely start opening their economic sectors as well as hotels and homestays, which will also revive the tourism sector.
“As such, we call on all tourism sector operators to always abide by the latest SOPs so that the tourism industry can be reactivated immediately,” he said.
Muhyiddin today announced that the government has agreed to ease the restrictions in the social sector for fully vaccinated individuals who reside in states under Phase Two and above of the NRP, effective Tuesday (Aug 10).
Among the restrictions being lifted were the ban on dine-ins, inter-district travel, sports and recreational activities without physical contact as well as tourism activities within the same state involving homestays and hotels.