Langkawi reopening? Follow SOP strictly, tourism group tells sector players

THE Malaysia Association Tour Agency (MATA) urged tourism players in Langkawi Island to adhere to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) following Tourism, Arts & Culture Ministry’s (MOTAC) proposal to use the place as a pilot project to create a travel bubble.

“I hope all tourism players there follow SOPs strictly as per the Government’s requirement. Remember that the Langkawi Island project will be used as a benchmark to reopen tourism businesses in other areas.

“If the project succeeds, we hope the Government would consider reopening other tourism destinations such Redang, Kapas, Tioman, Pangkor and many more as soon as possible,” its president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun told FocusM.

Last week, Kedah menteri besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor announced that Langkawi Island is scheduled to be reopened for tourism activities beginning Sept 16.

“During a meeting with the Langkawi Development Board (LADA), we had requested the National Security Council (NSC), MOTAC and state heath department to come up with a SOP for that.

“So, the state health department will update on us on that. It will be great for us to reopen Langkawi on Malaysia Day,” he was reported saying.

Economic revival

On that note, Khalid said the announcement brought delight to tourism players and Malaysians in general, as the former had suffered immensely due to the movement restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19.

He added that it was also likely that the Government may consider reopening other tourist destinations once its respective localities achieve 80% herd immunity, following vaccination.

“So, I urge all tourism players to adhere to the SOP strictly at all times so that the sector can recover soon.

“Let us all play our roles to flatten the COVID-19 curve and direct our effort to rejuvenate the overall economy soon after,” Khalid concluded. – Sept 6, 2021

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