PUTRAJAYA, Oct 6 — Data obtained from Tourism Malaysia’s overseas directors will serve as a guide to determine the country’s readiness to reopen the international tourism sector, said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

“This will assist us to plan promotional and marketing campaigns to remake Malaysia as a popular inbound destination once the nation’s borders are opened,” she said in a statement today.

Nancy yesterday held a virtual meeting with 33 directors of Tourism Malaysia where discussions were dominated by the impending resumption of international tourism activities once national borders are reopened.

Nancy said that data from Tourism Malaysia overseas offices will also come in handy for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) to coordinate the planning of entry requirements, health and safety, immigration and contact-tracing information.

“This matter will then be presented to the National Security Council (MKN) to consider, before a decision to reopen the national borders is made,” she said.

Nancy said that the discussions also included health regulations as well as best practices implemented by foreign countries.

Among the issues raised were related to the period of quarantine upon arrival, recognition of vaccination status and a clear standard operating procedure (SOP) for inbound tourists, she added.

Nancy said the country’s tourism industry has been crippled by the long drawn out pandemic, with losses of RM135 billion, which are expected to rise to RM165 billion this year.

In this regard, she wanted Tourism Malaysia to up the ante on promotions of Malaysia as a unique destination, in line with Motac’s objective to launch an international travel bubble.

“To achieve a target entry of 16 million international tourists and a revenue of at least RM45 billion in 2025, we have to close ranks and work as a team in order to revive the industry, with the tagline of ‘Motac, Coming Back Stronger’,” she said. — Bernama