Kuala Lumpur, 8 February 2021 - The Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents welcomes the National Recovery Council proposal on the reopening of international borders from March 1.
“This is definitely a positive step moving forward taking into consideration our nation’s move towards endemicity, our high vaccination rates and the capability of our public health infrastructure in managing this health crisis. As proven the world over, the containment of COVID-19 goes beyond lockdowns, MCOs and extreme mobility restrictions. A holistic approach taking into consideration economic activities for the well-being of the people must now be a priority”, said MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang.
“MATTA had earlier urged the government to revamp its current policies, its overly-cautious quarantine rules and testing procedures which should be based on mortality rates and the category of infection level (1 to 5). Repeating the same approach since 23 months ago and expecting progress is simply not producing good results.”
To date Malaysia recorded has recorded 2,925,254 Covid cases out of which the mortality rate is 1 percent.
“We acknowledge and laud the excellent medical services provided by our healthcare frontliners and whilst public health is of paramount importance, we cannot keep maintaining the current position and approach. The tourism industry is now moving into its 3rd year of financial distress without any clear roadmap implementation by the government. It will be disastrous if the government continues to ignore a vital component of the economic sector which in the past contributed RM89.4 billion foreign tourism receipts”, added Tan.
Recently more countries have begun to open their borders without stringent quarantine rules. In ASEAN, the Phillipines and Thailand have announced the reopening of their borders whilst Cambodia re-opened without the need to quarantine from November 15 last year. Australia is opening her borders soon whilst the United Kingdom and Denmark have even removed all forms of restrictions.
“Malaysia needs to follow suit to reopen our international borders in order to ensure not only the rebound of the tourism sector alone but of the many other related sectors that stand to benefit from such a move.”, concluded Tan.
DATUK TAN KOK LIANG PGDK, M.A Tourism, CA (M), FCTIM, CHA
Term 2021 – 2023