TravTalk - India
Malaysia opens for travel
Malaysia is ready to welcome international travellers from 1 April 2022, especially from the Middle East region. With 90 per cent of its population being fully vaccinated, including booster dose, tourists should feel confident to visit the country.
Manoharan Periasamy, Senior Director, International Promotion Division (Asia & Africa), Tourism Malaysia, speaking at the 4th edition of Gulf Travel Show (GTS), shared that it was their fourth participation at the show. “Participating in GTS 2022 is one way of confidence building and to rebuild our tourism industry. We want to give confidence to our travel partners in Malaysia as well as overseas that we are ready. The good news is that by 1 April 2022, we are opening the borders. Not only Tourism Malaysia and industry partners, but even our travel partners overseas are also waiting, so that they can continue to get back their business and send the passengers to Malaysia,” he shared.
Tourism Malaysia, being the platinum partner for GTS 2022, is especially preparing to welcome back Middle East tourists to experience the country again, revealed Periasamy. “For us GTS 2022 is the best platform and an opportunity for us to network with the entire travel agents fraternity and tour operators, especially in the Middle East.”
Protocols to follow
Saying that the protocols after the opening on April 1 will be different from what it was during the Langkawi International Travel Bubble, which started in November 2021. “While we got a very good response for the Langkawi International Travel Bubble, from 1 April 2022 when we are having a border opening, it is much more relaxed in terms of protocols. Firstly, one needs to just get a RTPCR test done two days prior to departure and after departure another test needs to be done within 24 hours, as compared to the Lankgkawi international travel bubble, where it was to be done almost every day. Secondly, insurance details are being finalised, but it should be in the range of US$ 30,000-40,000 and it should cover the traveller in case they are contracted with COVID. Also, before departure, travellers need to download the mysejahtera app from https:// mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/ intro/ wherein they need to fill a traveller form and answer a few questions and they are free to visit anywhere in Malaysia,” he informed.
On ground situation
Claiming that they are one of the countries with the highest percentage of vaccinations received, Periasamy shared, “More than 90 per cent of the population has been vaccinated along with the booster dose. This is the reason the government decided that we are moving from the phase of pandemic to endemic. However, the endemic status will be declared by the WHO, but the government has decided that this is the perfect time for us to open the border and all the restrictions, which have been imposed during the pandemic time, have been lifted up, starting April 1.” However, he claimed that there is a need to follow the SOPs.
“All hotels are maintaining the cleanliness and sanitisation of amenities, right from F&B, to the swimming pool and other facilities that are accessible to the public,” he explained.
Tourism Malaysia is preparing to welcome back Middle East tourists to experience the country again