Langkawi international tourism travel bubble opens to all countries, says Nancy

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 26): The international tourism bubble for the Langkawi pioneer project will be opened to tourists from all countries, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said.

She added that the no-restriction policy was adopted as strict procedures would be in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 at the resort island.

“The procedures include ensuring arriving tourists use tour agents registered with the ministry.

“The agent will be the one who will arrange their entire journey and they will not come directly to Langkawi on their own. This is the mechanism we use, so if anything happens, like infection cases, the agent will be held responsible,” she said when answering questions from the media at an event at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (MATIC) here on Monday.

She was queried whether the government would take similar steps as Singapore and Thailand in limiting tourist arrivals.

She was met at the presentation of Financial Assistance and Contributions to 15 non-governmental organisations and 20 arts practitioners at MATIC here on Monday.

The international tourism bubble, she said, was introduced to help the economy recover from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that the government could not afford to wait for too long to reopen the tourism sector to foreign tourists, as it would cause locals to lose their jobs. 

“So we need to think rationally and consider the steps that can be taken for the benefit of all.

“Also, the developments in Langkawi can become a model for us to examine tourist behaviour in helping curb the spread of Covid-19,” she said.

She said since the recent announcement regarding the tourism travel bubble, many homestays in Langkawi have received bookings from tourists, especially from Europe.

The international tourism travel bubble for Langkawi, slated to begin on Nov 15, was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday (Oct 22). 

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