PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) has urged the government to lift the ban on interstate travel to encourage domestic tourism and aid the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
In a statement, it hoped for Putrajaya to allow “targeted and controlled” cross-border travel, in line with its proposal for stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs).
This included a “movement mechanism” that tracks an individual’s hotel accommodation and mandatory Covid-19 tests before receiving approval to travel.
“The government could also allow interstate travel for individuals attending MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) activities with early registrations and hotel room reservations,” it said.
MAH also clarified that there was no link between domestic tourism movements and the spread of Covid-19 involving interstate activities, saying there was no spike in cases when domestic tourism was allowed during the recovery movement control order last year.
It said the tourism industry had always complied with the SOP, adding that the sector “desperately needs space to generate revenue to maintain the sustainability of the industry and its 3.6 million workers.”
“The domestic market is the industry’s only hope for survival until international tourism resumes, which is expected to take a longer time.”
Yesterday, health-director general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed that the country recorded 3,170 infections due to interstate travels since Jan 1.
The three states that recorded the highest number of cases imported from other states during this time were Kedah (714), Perak (583) and Negeri Sembilan (370).
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