Malaysia considers opening border to boost tourism

KUCHING (BERNAMA) – The Malaysian government is considering opening its border to help boost the tourism sector, its Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri said.

“We are now working at negotiating with countries such as Singapore, Brunei, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand which have been identified as Green Zones,” she said at a press conference after visiting the Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS) yesterday.

Nancy said she received many requests from the local tourism industry players to consider the matter to keep their business afloat.

“However, this matter has to be discussed further with other ministries as well, such as the Ministry of Health to ensure that we are allowed to do so (open country’s border) to boost our tourism sector,” she said.

Asked whether the green travel bubble did help in boosting the tourism sector, Nancy said, “Yes, even some of the hotels such as in Langkawi are fully booked. So, it has been a good initiative.”

Meanwhile, Nancy also urged visitors from the green zones travelling to other places for holidays, to fully practise the standard operating procedure, especially maintaining physical distancing during their travels.

“We do not want the number of COVID-19 cases getting high after the government has approved the green travel bubble because at the end of the day, it will affect the economy, especially our tourism sector,” she added.

Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri tours a booth at the Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak. PHOTO: BERNAMA