Malaysia keeps borders shut for foreign tourists well into 2021


Much like Thailand, Malaysia’s borders will remain closed for international tourists well into 2021 as fears are building up that an untimely opening could trigger a new wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

The closure could last until the second quarter of next year, Nancy Shukri, Malaysia’s minister of tourism, arts and culture, told Nikkei Asia Review.

She said that the government was now re-examining a list of low-risk countries as a first step after they faced new waves of infections. However, she added that the reopening of Malaysia’s border with Singapore for essential travel, which happened on August 17, was a “positive step” and will remain in place. But no tourists are allowed to cross into Singapore there.

She added that as most countries were not prepared for border openings, leisure travel could not happen at this point of time.

Shukri was assisted by defense minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said that the country was “not ready” for an opening yet.

“We are not ready to relax what is being enforced at the moment,” he remarked at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on August 27.

Malaysia’s tourism industry gets hammered

Malaysia’s borders have been closed for foreign tourists since March. The ban has hammered the tourism sector which accounts for up to 15 per cent of GDP. Additionally, most non-Malaysians other than tourists cannot enter the country, prompting labour shortages for businesses that depend on foreign workers.

Noor Hisham Abdullah, director-general of Malaysia’s health ministry, also said that borders should remain shut and no inbound or outbound leisure travel should be allowed in the medium term.

The current situation is a backlash for what Malaysia had in mind for the tourism industry in 2020. The government had declared 2020 the year of “Visit Malaysia” and pumped 40 million ringgit ($9.6 million) into marketing and promotions to attract foreign tourists. That was obviously bad spending.

In the first six months of the year, Malaysia recorded just 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, almost all of which arrived in from January to March. This is a 68-per cent drop from the 13.4 million registered in the same period last year. Inbound tourist receipts fell 71 per cent to 12.7 billion ringgit ($3 billion).

As of August 27, Malaysia reported 9,296 infections, 125 deaths and 8,994 recoveries.



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Much like Thailand, Malaysia’s borders will remain closed for international tourists well into 2021 as fears are building up that an untimely opening could trigger a new wave of coronavirus infections in the country. The closure could last until the second quarter of next year, Nancy Shukri, Malaysia’s minister of tourism, arts and culture, told Nikkei Asia Review. She said that the government was now re-examining a list of low-risk countries as a first step after they faced new waves of infections. However, she added that the reopening of Malaysia’s border with Singapore for essential travel, which happened on August...


Much like Thailand, Malaysia’s borders will remain closed for international tourists well into 2021 as fears are building up that an untimely opening could trigger a new wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

The closure could last until the second quarter of next year, Nancy Shukri, Malaysia’s minister of tourism, arts and culture, told Nikkei Asia Review.

She said that the government was now re-examining a list of low-risk countries as a first step after they faced new waves of infections. However, she added that the reopening of Malaysia’s border with Singapore for essential travel, which happened on August 17, was a “positive step” and will remain in place. But no tourists are allowed to cross into Singapore there.

She added that as most countries were not prepared for border openings, leisure travel could not happen at this point of time.

Shukri was assisted by defense minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said that the country was “not ready” for an opening yet.

“We are not ready to relax what is being enforced at the moment,” he remarked at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on August 27.

Malaysia’s tourism industry gets hammered

Malaysia’s borders have been closed for foreign tourists since March. The ban has hammered the tourism sector which accounts for up to 15 per cent of GDP. Additionally, most non-Malaysians other than tourists cannot enter the country, prompting labour shortages for businesses that depend on foreign workers.

Noor Hisham Abdullah, director-general of Malaysia’s health ministry, also said that borders should remain shut and no inbound or outbound leisure travel should be allowed in the medium term.

The current situation is a backlash for what Malaysia had in mind for the tourism industry in 2020. The government had declared 2020 the year of “Visit Malaysia” and pumped 40 million ringgit ($9.6 million) into marketing and promotions to attract foreign tourists. That was obviously bad spending.

In the first six months of the year, Malaysia recorded just 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, almost all of which arrived in from January to March. This is a 68-per cent drop from the 13.4 million registered in the same period last year. Inbound tourist receipts fell 71 per cent to 12.7 billion ringgit ($3 billion).

As of August 27, Malaysia reported 9,296 infections, 125 deaths and 8,994 recoveries.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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