Tourism minister hails surge in hotel bookings

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri says people are beginning to travel again.

KUALA LUMPUR: The tourism sector has seen an upsurge, with hotel reservations nationwide showing an increase of up to 30.74% until June, says Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri.

She said hotels were being filled up by domestic tourists, adding that this had helped revive the country’s economy which was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In terms of hotel reservations, in March the occupancy rate was 18.29%. In April it dipped 8.86% because of the (Covid-19) peak (in Malaysia), and in May, during the recovery movement control order, 9.63%.

“But until June 30, (occupancy) surged to 30.74%. This shows that the public is beginning to go out. They are brave enough to go out because the situation in the country is quite safe,” she told Bernama.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri.

She said the ministry had always cooperated with industry players in the tourism sector to tackle the effects of Covid-19.

“We always have engagements, discussions with tourism industry players, and they give us ideas which we use as feedback for the government,” she added.

She also said the ministry would obtain guidelines from the health, home and foreign ministries to assist in identifying green zones overseas that could implement travel bubbles.

“For example, we do not refer to Australia as a whole, perhaps just Perth,” she said.

The “green bubble” or “green lane” concept involves the easing of travel restrictions between two or more countries that record low rates of local Covid-19 infections.

Nancy said her ministry would also hold discussions with airline companies regarding the matter.

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