No Recovery in Sight For Tourism In Malaysia

Malaysia credit Ishan Seefromthesky on Unsplash

A tourism expert has predicted that Malaysia may see only 132,000 foreign tourists in 2021, a potential disaster for the travel industry in the country.

In 2019 more than 26 million foreign tourists came to Malaysia. That plummeted to just 4.3 million in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic closed international borders.

Now tourism and transport industry consultant Y.S. Chan has said that the continuing pandemic and slow global rollout of vaccinations could see the number of foreign arrivals falling even more.

Yap Lip Seng, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Association of Hotels has warned that numbers may take until 2024 to return to anything like pre-pandemic levels.

“We are anticipating the reopening of international borders in stages by 2022, with Malaysia’s vaccination programme now brought forward to achieve herd immunity by the end of this year,” he said.

Yap Lip Seng, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Association of Hotels

In 2019 tourism accounted for 15.9% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the third largest contributor to the economy. Unlike countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam, there were no plans to reopen to tourism in the near future.

Domestic Tourism Also Hit

Interstate travel in Malaysia is banned in most regions meaning that domestic tourism is also off the cards further impacting on the industry.

“For Malaysia, interstate travel will only be allowed when the number of new cases do not exceed triple digits each day. In fact, it is only safe to travel when it has dropped to double digits.”

Y. S. Chan

Following concerns that people are attempting to travel outside of the current restrictions, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani has emphasised that interstate travel for work, medical and educational purposes are only allowed from Monday to Thursday.

He said that interstate travelling is banned from Friday to Sunday with the exception of emergency cases, deaths and long distance married couples.

Source: The Sun Daily

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