The Malaysia Tourism Agency Association (MATA) has urged the government to temporarily suspend the entry of tourists from China into the country due to Covid-19 concerns.
In a statement, MATA president Datuk Dr Mohd Khalid Harun said China is currently facing an explosion in number of Covid-19 cases and this risks the emergence of new variants of the virus.
This would then lead to more serious issues for Malaysians, especially for the tourism industry players.
“We are all aware that hospitals across China are facing explosions of Covid-19 cases following Beijing’s decision to withdraw their strict regulations.”
“The trauma faced by players in the tourism industry due to the Covid-19 outbreak has yet to be resolved, in fact, many travel agencies and hotels have been closed due to the virus incurring billions of ringgit in losses in the past two years,” he said.
Many other countries imposed similar policy
According to Bernama, Mohd Khalid also said he hoped that what the industry has experienced in the past two years will not recur as many players are still in the process of recovery.
Meanwhile, he pointed out that many foreign countries have tightened the entry of tourists or businessmen from China for the time being to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in their countries.
With this, Mohd Khalid urged industry players to shift their focus to tourists from the Middle East and Europe instead of relying on tourists from China for now.
Earlier, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that Malaysia can expect to see a surge in flight demand following the re-opening of China’s borders, which will be implemented by its government on 8 January after nearly three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.