Covid-19: Tourism Ministry exploring travel bubble with green-zone countries

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri speaks to reporters during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur November 17, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri speaks to reporters during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur November 17, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) is exploring  the possibility of having travel bubble arrangements with green zone countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, said Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

She said the ministry had held consultations with several government agencies and tourism industry players’ representatives to identify mechanisms to reopen cross-border tourism activities in a safe and systematic manner.

“The mechanisms being explored by the ministry include destination to destination or island tours in small groups specially for golf, diving, scuba, bird watching, hiking and caving activities.

“ the travel itineraries will first be approved by the authorities involved and travel arrangements will be made by licenced travel agency companies,” she said when winding up debate on 2021 Supply Bill at the committee stage for the ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Elaborating Nancy said these were among initiatives contained in the Tourism and Cultural Recovery Plans in efforts to restore the country’s tourism sector which had been severely affected by Covid-19. 

She said these initiatives would help restore public confidence in travel and tourism activities which will revitalise domestic tourism and encourage industry players to offer more creative and attractive travel packages through digital platforms.

Earlier, Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (PH-Balik Pulau) when debating the bill asked the ministry to give details on the Tourism Recovery Plan and Cultural Recovery Plan which according to him, had no target definition.

The committee-level Supply Bill 2021 for Motac was later passed through bloc voting which saw 109 MPs in favor, 96 against and 15 were absent.

Five government lawmakers and five MPs from the opposition bloc participated in the debate on the bill. — Bernama

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