KUALA LUMPUR: More domestic travel attractions will be opened to the public soon, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said this is part of efforts to revive the tourism sector that had been badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said domestic travel attractions that would be reopened include islands like Pulau Redang, Pulau Pangkor and Pulau Tioman as well as highlands such as Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands.
"Hotels and destinations whether on the island or the highlands, will be reopened to those living in the same states.
"We will discuss interstate travel in a few days and when it is allowed, tourists from other states can also visit these places.
"We already have a list that not only includes islands but also places like Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands and Fraser's Hill as well as other destinations.
"When people start moving around, our economy improves," she said when replying to a supplementary question from Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent – Muar) at the Dewan Rakyat today.
To a question by Tan Kok Wai (PH-Cheras) regarding international tourists, Nancy said Pulau Langkawi would be used as a benchmark before the government made a decision on reopening the country's borders.
"We have plans to receive international tourists… we will start with Pulau Langkawi because it is popular among tourists and also has an international airport.
"If Pulau Langkawi turns out to be a successful pilot project, we will start interstate travel as many states have moved into Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP)," she said.
Earlier, when replying to Tan and 11 other members of parliament, Nancy said, her ministry through a series of negotiations with tourism industry players established a Tourism Recovery Plan (TRP) to find a balance between economic interests and public health.
She said TRP was one of the Ministry's continuous efforts in restoring tourist confidence on safety and ensuring the tourism sector is able to generate a permanent income after the reopening in stages.
"Among TRP's focus is to revitalise domestic tourism and help expedite vaccination for locals.
"This includes frontliners of the tourism, arts and culture sectors in the country in a bid to achieve herd immunity at popular tourist destinations.
"We are also intensifying the 'Rindu Melancong? Jom Vaksin Dulu!' campaign to encourage more people to register for the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme, and restore public confidence in travel by promoting Malaysia as a safe, clean and healthy destination."
Nancy said, the NRP also gave priority to the digitisation of business processes and to improve the skills and capacity of the industry through continuous re-skilling programmes.