Top News Malaysian stakeholders form alliance to prepare for tourism reopening By S Puvaneswary / Posted on 11 October, 2021 15:52 Four major tourism players in Malaysia have joined forces to ramp up destination readiness and facilitate Malaysia’s reopening to leisure and business travellers as interstate travel resumes from today (October 11). The four players are the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and airlines under the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) comprising of Malaysia Airlines, Firefly and MASwings. Nancy Shukri (middle) witnessing the signing of MoU at the launch of Travel Safe Alliance Malaysia The signing of a MoU on Sunday at The Danna, Langkawi, focuses on combined efforts to be led by the three association giants in the industry and the national airline company to establish a Travel Safe Alliance (TSA) Malaysia and to position Malaysia as a safe destination for leisure and business travellers. Certified by Bureau Veritas Certification Malaysia, it is a complete ecosystem of safe travel solutions made up of the “Travel Safe” label for travel and tour arrangements, “Clean & Safe Malaysia” label for hotels, and “SafeBE” for Business Events and convention venues. Signatories to the MoU were MATTA president Tan Kok Liang; MAH president N. Subramaniam; MACEOS president Francis Teo; and Group CEO of Malaysia Aviation Group, Izham Ismail. At a virtual press conference on Sunday, Nancy Shukri, minister of tourism, arts and culture, stated that her ministry recognises and supports the three certification programmes. She said: “We need extraordinary strategies such as these to revive not only the tourism and business events industries, but also the socio-economy of the country. More vital collaborations between the public and private sectors is the key to accelerate the recovery of our industry and economy.” She said the ministry is also getting feedback from Tourism Malaysia’s overseas directors on the expectations of foreign travellers in the new normal, so that Malaysia can meet their expectations once borders reopen. In his opening remarks, Tan shared that the TSA Malaysia is working very closely with Singapore Safe Alliance on proposals based on safety standards on “how we can quickly work with our respective governments to reopen reciprocal travel arrangements between our two countries beginning with travel bubbles like Langkawi and business events in Singapore”. He added that details of the partnership will be announced later this month. The Alliance has also made a number of proposals to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on ways to speed up recovery through the Travel Safe programme. In a live telecast on Sunday, prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that interstate travel will resume nationwide from Monday as 90 per cent of the country’s adult population has been fully vaccinated. Interstate travel has been banned since January to curb a surge in Covid-19 cases. He added that international travel will also be allowed from Monday for those who are fully vaccinated. However, travellers must do a swab test three days before returning to Malaysia, and another swab test upon arriving in Malaysia.