Tourism sector recovery period depends on reopening of foreign countries borders

SEGAMAT: The time the country’s tourism sector will take to recover to the level before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, will depend on the reopening of the borders of other countries, says Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar.

He said the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism (MOTAC) had initially planned to revive the country’s tourism sector within three years, but it depended on other factors.

He explained that the contribution from the tourism sector in 2019, which reached RM89bil, depended a lot on the arrival of tourists from foreign countries, especially China and India.

“Currently, China has yet to open its borders for its people to travel. In terms of planning to receive the presence of foreign tourists, we are ready, among industry players, but it also depends on the reopening of borders in those countries,” he said.

He said this to reporters after the closing ceremony of the Segamat Community Skills Development Programme: Wooden Chess Craft at the Segamat 2 Community College here on Saturday (May 21).

He was asked to comment on the statement by the chairman of the National Recovery Council (MPN), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who opined that the five-year period targeted by Tourism Malaysia for the country’s tourism sector to recover was too long.

According to Muhyiddin, if this period is taken to revive the sector, there will be more issues, and other problems to crop up then.

Santhara said to improve the country’s tourism sector, Malaysia would also focus on attracting tourists from other countries such as those from the Middle East. – Bernama