Tourism, arts and culture minister Nancy Shukri inside an aircraft during the launching of the FireFly Airlines aircraft livery and #GoJalanLah campaign today. (Bernama pic)
SHAH ALAM: Malaysia has attracted more than a million tourists so far, over half of the targeted two million international tourists set by the government this year since the border reopening on April 1, says tourism, arts and culture minister Nancy Shukri.
She said a large part of the total was from Singapore and it is expected many more tourists from Japan, Iran and Korea will be arriving in Malaysia.
“In the past two months, we have received around 600,000 tourists from Singapore,” she said at a media conference after launching the FireFly Airlines aircraft livery and #GoJalanLah campaign here today.
“There are tourists from other countries as well but we are unable to provide accurate numbers as we are still waiting for feedback from the respective parties.
“Suffice to say we have achieved more than half of what we’ve targeted,” she said.
Nancy believed that tourist-friendly Covid-19 SOPs were capable of attracting more foreign tourists to Malaysia.
“People like our SOPs because there’s no mandatory quarantine, Covid-19 screening tests or insurance. That is all left to tourists to do,” she said.
Nancy said the country’s tourism industry still faces a shortage of workers after being severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Some hotel workers are afraid to return to work due to the uncertainty. They fear another closure.”
In addition, she said her ministry has yet to receive any confirmation on hotels that were forced to close down due to the impact of the pandemic. However, there was some indication that some hotels were shut down temporarily for renovation while others were being repurposed, she added.
On #GoJalanLah, she said the campaign was a smart partnership between Firefly and Tourism Malaysia to support government efforts to boost domestic tourism promotions.
The #GoJalanLah promotion campaign offers flight tickets and hotel accommodation at discounts of up to 35%. Bookings can be made at www.fireflyz.com.my till June 30 for the travel period until Dec 31 this year.
*This article was originally published on Free Malaysia Today, 04/06/2022.