KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) is urging the government to come up with a tourism recovery roadmap.
Honorary secretary-general Nigel Wong said such a guideline will help the industry make strategic plans and preparations and align their recovery efforts with the government.
“The tourism sector is still a long way off from recovery and will not fully begin the recovery process until both domestic and international borders are reopened.
“Hence, Matta is urging the government to come up with a tourism recovery roadmap,” he said in a statement today.
Wong added that Matta and some of its key national and most influential partners, such as the Malaysian Hotel Association and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, will continue to work closely with and support the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its related agencies.
He added that the association is ready to collaborate with other government departments to re-imagine and re-empower the local tourism industry in preparation for the future.
“As demonstrated successfully in many countries around the world, domestic tourism plays a major role in sustaining the local tourism industry.
“The industry has already made significant preparations to ensure that Malaysians are able to safely recommence domestic travel and for businesses to start organising events and conferences once we come out of the movement control order (MCO) 3.0,” he said.
Research by the Department of Statistics Malaysia showed that 239 million visitors travelled within the country in 2019, an increase of 8.1 per cent compared with 2018.
Domestic visitors spent RM103.2 billion in 2019 with an annual growth rate of 11.5 per cent.
“The domestic travel bubble like many similar initiatives around the world is simply a mechanism designed to enforce the necessary operating procedures on travellers and tourism operators.
“Action must be taken on passengers or operators if found guilty of intentionally ignoring or violating the standard operating procedures,” he said, in reference to a group of tourists who visited the Genting Highlands casino recently amid the pandemic.
He also commended the government on its decision not to impose a total lockdown on the economic sector.
Wong said striking a balance between saving lives and livelihoods is crucial in order for the nation to continue its journey to recovery post-pandemic. — Bernama