Covid: Malaysia's Tourism Sector Faces Collapse By Deifisya Sabhira Pahlevi, Year 5, Sekolah Cikal

Covid: Malaysia's Tourism Sector Faces Collapse By Deifisya Sabhira Pahlevi, Year 5, Sekolah Cikal

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COVID's Impact on Malaysia's Tourism

The outbreak of COVID-19 has exposed a major risk to Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) campaign as 50% of Malaysia’s tourists originate from Singapore and China. Airline industry players have highlighted that the current travel bans and plummeting demand around the world have put the loss-making carrier at risk of bankruptcy.

A total of 170,084 hotel room bookings during the period 11 January 2020 until 16 March 2020 had been cancelled, which caused a loss of revenue amounting to RM68,190,364. The loss was directly attributable to the outbreak of COVID-19.

On November 15, the Malaysian government opened the popular vacation island of Langkawi to fully vaccinated international tourists without the need to quarantine. It was the first destination in Malaysia to do so. Tourism Malaysia is also working with international airlines to restore Malaysia's long-dormant connections.

Although tourism on the island is slowly coming back to life — resorts, hotels, bars and restaurants are open again — the rush of international tourists has so far failed to materialize, despite the well-intentioned measures.

The Southeast Asian country plans to reopen its borders to international visitors starting January 1 in a bid to revive its ailing tourism sector. While the country has gradually reopened its economy in the face of declining COVID-19 cases, the tourism industry is simply recovering too slowly without foreign visitors, according to National Recovery Council Chairman Muhyiddin Yassin. In Malaysia, 94.9% of adults are already fully vaccinated, based on statistical surveys. Hopefully, the next wave of the virus will not occur after the borders have been opened and things will finally start to look up again. Malaysia is currently represented at all tourism trade fairs — especially in Europe — in order to promote itself. Yet difficult times may be ahead.

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