KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24: Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri says her ministry is looking at “creative” ways to open up the tourism sector to more people, including international travellers.
She said at a press conference today that her ministry would explore procedures for opening up of potential green zone destinations with the relevant ministries.
While reciprocal green lanes and periodic commuting arrangements with countries like Singapore would help, she said they were also looking at the possibility of opening up “niche” tourism sectors like golfing, diving and eco adventure with specific SOPs to ensure controlled and safe travel.
Nancy said her ministry had been tasked with developing a concept paper with the cooperation of other relevant ministries.
“We need new ways of looking at travel bubbles, based not just on countries but maybe on destinations like (between) islands (of other countries),” she said after the launch of the Malaysia Business Events Week 2020.
She said this would be subject to extensive discussion with other ministries such as the health, home and foreign ministries as well as the National Security Council.
She said mutual agreement between countries on the SOPs would also need to be established.
Earlier in her speech at the event hosted by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), Nancy said although international travel had been affected by Covid-19, the outlook for the business event industry in Malaysia was still “positive”.
“Many events that were due to take place in Malaysia have been postponed instead of being cancelled,” she said.
“The number of events secured and supported by MyCEB looks promising with only 24 of them cancelled and 64 postponed.”
She praised MyCEB for its efforts to rebuild the industry, especially through initiatives such as the Meet in Malaysia campaign, Exhibition Enhancement Package, Fifth Tactical Malaysia Twin Deal and Homegrown Event Support.
“Therefore, I would like to urge all industry players to fully take this opportunity to kick-start their businesses again,” she said.
MyCEB chief executive Abdul Khani Daud said they hoped local companies would support the event industry.