KUCHING: Introduction of the Green Zone Domestic Travel Bubble initiative by the federal government, aimed at expediting Malaysia’s tourism sector recovery, could keep Sarawak tourism afloat, state Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said today.
He said the initiative announced recently by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri came as a very much needed effort to enable the industry to remain active despite being badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Green Zone Domestic Travel Bubble initiative which started on Nov 22 will boost the government’s strategies under the Tourism Rehabilitation Plan that is aimed at reigniting visitors’ confidence in travel while focusing on reviving domestic tourism.
“Introduction of the approved standard operating procedure (SOP) for local visitors is also timely because it will enable movements between green zones within the country, and subsequently, (through) our borders. Thus, such measures will contribute meaningfully to our local tourism sector,” he said in a statement.
He also lauded the federal government’s decision to offer other initiatives that cover accommodation, transportation and discounts on the purchase of handicraft products at Karyaneka outlets.
“The support given to the local handicrafts industry through Karyaneka will support the livelihood of our local craftsmen and create income-generating activities which have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.
Abdul Karim also called on local hoteliers and accommodation providers to support the government’s initiative by offering various attractive room packages that might encourage visitors to grab the discount opportunities to be used during their future domestic travel.
“Local travellers are now looking for discount promotions and the recent ‘Sia Sitok’ campaign launched by the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) with support from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak (MTACS) and local tourism industry players has proven to be a hit among Sarawakians.
“All our tourism industry players must try to offer attractive short or long-term holiday packages to our local folks while maintaining the SOP under the new norm to ensure the highest safety level and also sustainability of the country’s tourism economy,” he added.