Travel agencies

Reopening of borders: good decision for local travel agencies to relaunch their activities, according to the tourism association

IPOH: The reopening of Malaysia’s international borders is a big boost for the tourism industry, according to a local tourism association.

Jimmy Goh, chairman of the Perak branch of the Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association, said it was a good sign for local travel agencies as they are ready to restart their businesses.

“Malaysians will want to travel.

“Package tour pricing won’t be an issue, but people will still want to travel safely without too much hassle,” he said when contacted on Tuesday March 8.

“Most travel agents have already started checking with hotels in other countries for their standard Covid-19 operating procedures.

“We want to make sure their premises are sanitized regularly and staff are fully vaccinated to protect our customers,” he added.

Goh, however, believed businesses would not pick up until the second half.

“People will be selective with their destinations and not to mention the limited number of countries Malaysia has agreed to implement Vaccinated Traffic Lanes (VTL) with,” he said.

“I hope the government will speed up its negotiations with more countries to make it easier for people to travel,” he said.

“Security is another factor because Covid-19 is still a concern for most people,” he added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Tuesday that Malaysia’s borders will be reopened from April 1.

Goh also said the relaxed rules that fully vaccinated foreign tourists no longer need to undergo quarantine upon arrival would attract more foreigners to visit the country.

“If people are still required to self-quarantine for five to seven days, they will think twice about travelling.

“It will be a boon for our local businesses, especially those in the tourism industry,” he said.

“I believe all industry players will continue to strictly adhere to existing SOPs to protect tourists,” he added.