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Govt mulls allowing interstate tourism, says Nancy

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): The government is discussing the possibility of allowing interstate tourism and will announce the decision soon, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said today.

She said the move is to expedite the recovery of the country’s tourism industry, which was badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“So far, besides Langkawi, we only allow intrastate tourism and we are aware that we cannot depend solely on this to assist the recovery of the tourism industry. Therefore, we are looking into allowing interstate tourism to boost the country’s tourism activities,” she said during the oral question-and-answer (Q&A) session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

She was responding to a supplementary question from Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (independent-Muar) who asked the government to open up more domestic travel bubbles and not only focusing on resort islands to assist industry players affected by Covid-19.

Nancy said several locations had been identified for this purpose, including Fraser’s Hill and Genting Highlands.

On the plan to open Langkawi Island to international tourists, Nancy said the matter is also being discussed with relevant agencies.

“We are setting the criteria for international tourists to come other than complete vaccination. Once decided, we will open Langkawi Island to international tourists," she said.

So far, the government has allowed intrastate tourism activities for states under Phase 2 and above of the National Recovery Plan for fully vaccinated individuals, while the Langkawi domestic tourism bubble pilot project started on Sept 16.

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