Malaysia’s tourism revival begins today

Selamat Datang!

Two years ago today, the roads in major cities and towns throughout the world, including Malaysia, were deserted.

The unseen force called Covid-19 wreaked havoc worldwide, with many countries enforcing the movement control order.

Airports were closed, and tourism came to a halt. Even balik kampung (returning back to hometowns) was prohibited as the whole world tried to control the spread of the dreaded virus.

But as vaccines were discovered and the majority of Malaysians have taken at least two doses, our borders can finally be opened to foreign tourists, starting today.

This must come as a relief to hoteliers, homestay operators and businesses. No doubt, locals had been allowed to travel across states since last year, but the sight of foreign tourists would definitely make the industry livelier.

It was reported that in 2020, the tourism industry suffered a loss of over RM100 billion, when it was supposed to have been ‘the mother’ of all Visit Malaysia Year.

Will today mark the start of the much-needed turnaround for industry players? Has Tourism Malaysia done its part in convincing the world to come over?

It seems that they have. In a statement issued by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) yesterday, it is good news all around with the two terminals at Kuala Lumpur International Airport expected to receive 100 international flights from the various points of the globe.

Penang International Airport is receiving seven flights, with one each at Langkawi International Airport, and Ipoh.

“Arriving passengers no longer need to do a Covid-19 test immediately upon arrival at the airport. Instead, they are given 24 hours upon arrival to take a professional RTK-Ag test,” the statement added.

The SOPs have been simplified but masks are to be worn at all times in public.

Johor is also ready to welcome Singaporeans back to the state. It cannot be denied that Johor is banking heavily on friends from the other side of the Causeway and the expected influx from the neighbouring country will definitely help boost the tourism industry.

A visit to Johor Baharu early last year revealed deserted roads, empty shopping complexes and a barrage of complaints from traders.

It was like a ghost town. The Causeway, which was never empty pre-2020, was deserted. No one from both sides were allowed to travel across.

Today however, will be a game changer for the industry in the southern state.