SHAH ALAM, June 4 — Malaysia has managed to attract over a million tourists so far, over half of the targeted 2 million international tourists set by the government this year since the border reopening on April 1, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said a large part of the total was from Singapore and it is expected many more tourists from Japan, Iran and Korea will be arriving in Malaysia.
"In the past two months, we have received around 600,000 tourists from Singapore, and I feel currently we have surpassed 1 million tourists from Singapore alone,” she said at a media conference after launching the FireFly Airlines aircraft livery and #GoJalanLah campaign here today.
"There are tourists for other countries as well but we are unable to provide accurate numbers as we are still waiting for feedback from the respective parties but suffice to say we have achieved more than half of what we've targeted,” she said.
She said they believed that tourist-friendly Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) were capable of attracting more foreign tourists to Malaysia.
"People like our SOP because there's no mandatory quarantines, Covid-19 screening tests and insurance, and it's up to tourists to do so,” she said.
Nancy said the country's tourism industry is still faced with a shortage of workers after being severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Some hotel workers are afraid to return to work due to the uncertainty, so there might be another closure,” she said.
In addition, she said her ministry has yet to receive any confirmation of hotels that were forced to close down due to the impact of the pandemic, but there were indication that some hotels were shut down temporarily for renovation and some hotels being repurposed.
On #GojJalanLah, she said the campaign was a smart partnership between Firefly and Tourism Malaysia to support government efforts to boost domestic tourism promotions.
The #GoJalanLah promotion campaign offers flight tickets and hotel accommodation at discounts of up to 35 per cent. Bookings can be made at www.fireflyz.com.my till June 30, 2022 for the travel period until Dec 31, 2022. — Bernama