KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — The country’s domestic tourism sector, which is also badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic following enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), will recover earlier than expected, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

This, she said, was prompted by the high level of compliance with the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOP) by the public.

“This high level of compliance with the SOP provides an assurance for the people that it is safe to travel  (in the country),” she told reporters after visiting several tourist spots in the city, like Dataran Merdeka, Eco-Forest Park and the Royal Museum.

In the Dewan Rakyat sitting two days ago, Nancy was reported to have said that the country’s tourism sector is estimated to suffer losses amounting to RM45 billion this year as a result of the closure of the country’s borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic,.

She said that of the total, the international tourism segment was projected to suffer losses of more than RM31 billion while the rest was from the domestic segment.

Nancy, who is Batang Sadong Member of Parliament, also clarified on the up to 75 per cent occupancy rate of hotels in the country, saying that the rate was for popular hotels like those at resorts and tourist destinations, such as in Langkawi.

“However, the average occupancy rate of hotels nationwide is 21 to 30 per cent. It is our hope that domestic travel will be a trend in the country to help our entrepreneurs and those working in hotels,” she added.


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