KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — The tourism sector has seen an upsurge, with hotel reservations nationwide showing an increase of up to 30.74 per cent until June, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said hotels were being filled up by domestic tourists and this had helped revive the country’s economy, which was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In terms of hotel reservations, from March, the occupancy rate was 18.29 per cent. In April it dipped 8.86 per cent because of the (COVID-19) peak (in Malaysia) and in May, during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), 9.63 per cent.
“But until June 30, (occupancy) surged to 30.74 per cent. 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.
She said the ministry always cooperated with the 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 said as a guest on Bernama TV’s talk show programme, Ruang Bicara, today.
Meanwhile, she said the ministry would obtain guidelines from the Ministry of Health, Home Ministry and Foreign Ministry 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 local COVID-19 infection.
Nancy added that her ministry would also hold discussions with airline companies regarding the matter.