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Malaysia tourism industry players ready for re-opening of borders: Minister

KUCHING (CNA) – Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) is confident that tourism industry players are ready to receive foreign tourists when the country’s borders re-open on April 1.

Its minister Nancy Shukri said that her ministry had held meetings with tourism industry players before the decision to re-open the borders was made.

She explained that she had also asked them to be prepared in various aspects including upgrading their facilities.

“(Yes, I’m sure) the industry players are ready. Before the government announced the re-opening of the borders, I had asked them to be ready,” she told reporters after launching the National Craft Institute’s Sarawak Satellite Campus yesterday.

On March 8, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Malaysia would enter its transition period to the endemic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on April 1 and that the country’s borders would be re-opened from that date.

Following the announcement, Nancy on March 16 said that MOTAC was targetting two million tourist arrivals in Malaysia this year leading to revenue of more than MYR6.8 billion (USD1.6 billion).

Meanwhile, Nancy said to achieve the target of two million tourist arrivals, MOTAC had formulated various strategies to achieve the goal.

She underscored that this includes focussing on meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).

“This is one of our ways to bring in tourists, we have also managed to bid for certain business events to be organised in Malaysia.

“If we only focus on regular tourism, it may be difficult to reach a high number of tourists, so we need to create opportunities for MICE events to help industry players,” she said.

A view of the Kuala Lumpur city skyline. PHOTO: AP