Malaysia has attracted over a million tourists since the country’s borders reopened on 1 April, said Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She added that this is over half of the targeted 2 million international tourists set by the government this year.
According to Bernama, she revealed that a majority of them were from Singapore and the ministry is expecting many more tourists from Japan, Iran, and South Korea will be arriving in Malaysia.
“In the past two months, we received around 600,000 tourists from Singapore, and I feel currently we have surpassed one million tourists from Singapore alone,” she said.
“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 added.
Nancy said Malaysia’s tourist-friendly Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) could be the main factor that is attracting more foreign tourists to Malaysia.
“People like our SOPs because there are no mandatory quarantines, Covid-19 screening tests, and insurance, and it’s up to tourists to do so,” she said.
However, she said the country’s tourism industry is still facing 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, so there might be another closure,” she said.
Meanwhile, she said her ministry has yet to receive any confirmation of hotels that were forced to close down due to the impact of the pandemic, but there are indications that some hotels were shut down temporarily for renovation and some hotels are being repurposed.