Tourism, arts and culture minister Nancy Shukri (centre) with other delegates at a UNWTO ministerial roundtable in Maldives.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is committed to ensuring the country’s tourism sector is more sustainable, inclusive and resilient in line with the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) aspirations, says tourism, arts and culture minister Nancy Shukri.
In her speech at the 34th Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CAP-CSA) in Maldives, Nancy said Malaysia was on track to achieve its target of two million international arrivals in 2022.
Nancy, who is the co-chair of the CAP-CSA, said the government’s efforts to drive the tourism industry’s recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic, including the reopening of borders and the implementation of the Tourism Recovery Plan 2022, have produced results.
Already, there has been a 64% year-on-year increase in international arrivals for the Asia-Pacific region, as published in the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer report.
Nancy, who also spoke at a UNWTO ministerial roundtable, said the pandemic prompted numerous travel solutions. In Malaysia, she said border controls were gradually relaxed for targeted tourism activities.
“For instance, the successful implementation of the Langkawi International Travel Bubble initiative since November 2021 allowed quarantine-free entry into Malaysia’s popular island destination for more than 5,800 international tourists and generated an income of more than RM28 million in its three-month pilot phase.”
At another session during the series of UNWTO events, Nancy also spoke on community-based tourism success stories in Malaysia.
She also spoke at length about the government’s focus on building resilience in rural tourism communities in the aftermath of the pandemic through entrepreneurship skills and digital marketing training.
Participants of the UNWTO events in the Maldives included ministers, ambassadors, heads of national tourism organisations and delegates from 30 countries.
*This article was originally published on Free Malaysia Today, 16/06/2022.