The Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Nancy Shukri has announced that Genting Highlands, Melaka, and Tioman will soon reopen as part of the tourism travel bubble on 1 October, following the precedent set by Langkawi.
The minister says that the locations have been given two weeks to prepare for the reopening although the actual SOPs for these destinations have yet to be finalised.
For example, when asked whether the whole state of Melaka will start accepting tourists, or just certain locations, Minister Nancy said that this has yet to be determined since the state is much larger and has more entry points as compared to an island like Langkawi. The expanded tourism bubble may include mandatory swab tests as authorities deliberate on the SOPs.
Further, the minister also stated that the government will consider reopening even more “mainland” destinations for domestic tourism soon and not just islands. Earlier this week, she stated in parliament that the estimated loss in tourism revenue in 2020 was RM135 billion.
On the matter of positive COVID-19 cases in Langkawi, she said that those cases came from locals instead of tourists, and considers the island’s travel bubble a success.
The tourism minister also said that airlines and hotel operators have agreed to reschedule Langkawi bookings for travellers who had to cancel their plans due to being tested positive for the virus at entry points.